Margarita Mooney Clayton is associate professor of congregational studies in the Department of Practical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. She earned her MA and PhD in sociology from Princeton University, and her BA in psychology at Yale University. She has also been on the faculty of Yale University, Princeton University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Pepperdine University. At Princeton Theological Seminary, she teaches classes on philosophy of social science, Christianity and the liberals arts tradition, aesthetics, research methods for congregational leaders, intentional communities, and sociology of religion. Her research has received approximately $3 million in funding from the John Templeton Foundation.
Professor Mooney Clayton's most recent book with Cluny Media, The Love of Learning: Seven Dialogues on the Liberal Arts (2021), grew out of her decades of experience as a teacher and scholar. Her book Faith Makes Us Live: Surviving and Thriving in the Haitian Diaspora (University of California Press, 2009) demonstrated how religious communities support the successful adaptation of Haitian immigrants in the U.S., Canada and France, and she’s the co-author (with Camille Z. Charles, Mary S. Fischer, and Douglas S. Massey) of Taming the River: Negotiating the Academic, Financial, and Social Currents in Selective Colleges and Universities (Princeton University Press, 2009).
In addition to her scholarly books and articles, Professor Mooney Clayton has written for publications that reach wide audiences both inside and outside academia such as Real Clear Policy, Scientific American, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Miami Herald, Plough Magazine, America Magazine, First Things, Hedgehog Review, Public Discourse, Church Life Journal, and the National Catholic Register. Professor Mooney Clayton is a frequent speaker to women’s organizations, think tanks, schools, church groups, and a variety of other nonprofits, as well as businesses about faith and values. Her research has been cited by David Brooks in the New York Times, and she has been interviewed by organizations such as Duke Divinity School and the Institute for Humane Studies.
Professor Mooney Clayton founded Scala Foundation in 2016 and continues to serve as Scala’s executive director. Scala’s mission is to infuse meaning and purpose into American education by restoring a classical liberal arts education. At Scala’s conferences, reading groups, seminars, webinars, student trips, intellectual retreats, and intensive summer program, Scala equips students, writers, artists, intellectuals, and teachers with the ideas and networks needed to revitalize culture.