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Lauren D. Sawyer, PhD

Dr. Lauren D. Sawyer graduated from The Seattle School with her MA in Theology and Culture in 2014. She then became an Assistant Instructor before taking on the role of Notetaker for the Allender Center, focusing on Dan Allender’s teachings. In 2020, she returned to Seattle and began teaching as an Adjunct Instructor, and a year later, she expanded her role with the Allender Center as a Curriculum Specialist. In July 2022, her roles were combined: Adjunct Instructor at The Seattle School and Curriculum Coordinator at the Allender Center.

As Adjunct Instructor, Lauren teaches about 12 credits a term primarily in the theology program. Her favorite class has been IDS 10: Constructive Critique for Change—a methods class for MATC students preparing for their Integrative Projects.

As Curriculum Coordinator at the Allender Center, she works alongside the teachers to develop learning outcomes and ensure individual teachings align with those outcomes. Her first major project has been to create a Participant Guide for Narrative Focused Trauma Care levels 1 and 2.

She appreciates how The Seattle School has always been a space for her to share her expertise and passion as well as a space for her to learn and grow from her colleagues, some of the most thoughtful and creative people she knows.

Lauren received her PhD in Religion and Society (with a concentration in Christian Social Ethics and a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies) from Drew University in 2022. Her dissertation is entitled: “I Stumbled/I Caused You to Stumble: White Girls and Queer Youth as Sexual Agents in Evangelical Purity Culture.” Lauren is part of the Purity Culture Research Collective, an interdisciplinary research cohort “created to foster interdisciplinary dialogue between academics and researchers interrogating evangelical purity culture.” She is also currently working on a few scholarly and creative projects birthed out of her dissertation on evangelical purity culture, gender, queerness, and white supremacy.

Lauren lives in North Beacon Hill with her spouse, Joel. Born and raised in Indiana, she escaped to the Pacific Northwest as soon as she could.

For fun every week, Lauren open water swims in Puget Sound (even through the winter–with a wetsuit, mittens, and booties.) She has swum among seals and jellyfish and has spied sea stars, moon snails, and brightly colored anemones on the ocean floor.