Itohan Mercy Idumwonyi is a sixth-year doctoral candidate in the Religion Dept. at Rice University. She received a Master in Theological Studies (MTS) degree from Harvard University in 2012. Other degrees include the MA and BA in Religious Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 2002 and 1998 respectively. Idumwonyi began her teaching career at the University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, where she contributed to research and teaching. Her research interests encompass Women and Gender Studies, African Religions, and African Christianity and Pentecostalism with an emphasis on Women and Gender Dynamics in Nigerian Pentecostalism and Benin Religion. She employs theory and multidisciplinary methods to explore social and religious issues. Her work is devoted to challenging religion to a re-think without bias and looking beyond the conventional. She argues that the token number of women who preach in Nigerian Pentecostal churches is but symbolic, and should not be the only lens by which gender in/equality is viewed. She has published articles on culture, gender, and African religions. She has published in Orita: Ibadan Journal of Religious Studies and African Journal of Legal Studies. She is a Fellow of the prestigious American Association of University Women (AAUW) and of the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE). In addition to pursuing graduate work, she supports her "beyond-the-academic-community” through her engagement with young adults in juvenile prison and supports vulnerable young adults through college and women through economic empowerment.
PhD Rice University (in view), 2018
M.A. Rice University, 2016
MTS Harvard University (Divinity School) , 2012
M.A. University of Ibadan, Nigeria, 2002
B.A. University of Ibadan, Nigeria, 1998