Reverend Dr. Nathan C. Walker is president of 1791 Delegates, a nonprofit public charity that advances the public understanding of the five freedoms of the First Amendment—religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. Named after the year the Bill of Rights was ratified, 1791 Delegates manages the Education Law Association, The Foundation for Religious Literacy, and the social learning community at ReligionAndPublicLife.org.
Dr. Walker is an award-winning instructor of First Amendment and human rights law at Rutgers University-Camden, where he serves as an Honors College faculty fellow and public humanities fellow.
As a specialist in nonprofit leadership, Dr. Walker serves as board chair for the Public Religion Research Institute, an advisor to the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and a member of the American Academy of Religion’s Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion. He served as founding board chair of Abolitionist Sanctuary and founding treasurer of the Utah 3Rs Project. He previously helped write the Religious Studies Companion Document for the C3 Framework for the National Council for the Social Studies. He previously served the American Educational Research Association as the chair of the Religion & Education group and program chair of the Law & Education group.
In addition to serving as the associate editor of the peer-reviewed academic journal, Religion & Education, Dr. Walker has published five books and various policy reports, including:
‣ The First Amendment and State Bans on Teachers’ Religious Garb (Routledge 2019), which Kirkus Reviews called “a thorough, magisterial account of a timely and historically important legal debate.”
‣ In November 2016, Publishers Weekly listed Nate’s Cultivating Empathy (Skinner House Press 2016) as one of the top “six books for a post-election spiritual detox.”
‣ In endorsing his book Exorcising Preaching, the Rev. Meg Riley says that “Nate Walker is boldly creative—a visionary, on-the-edge kind of thinker.”
‣ Nate co-edited with Michael D. Waggoner The Oxford Handbook on Religion and American Education (Oxford University Press 2018), which Reading Religion called, “An impressive feat bringing order to this topic without sacrificing scope.”
‣ He co-edited with Edwin J. Greenlee the book, Whose God Rules? (Palgrave Macmillan 2011), which Cornel West called “provocative and pioneering.”
‣ He also co-authored with Lyal S. Sunga the policy report, “Promoting and Protecting the Universal Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief through Law” (IDLO 2017), which they presented at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
Nate served as a resident fellow in law and religion at Harvard University. He received his Doctor of Education degree in First Amendment law from Columbia University, where he received his Master of Arts and Master of Education degrees.
Reverend Nate is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister and received his Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary. He spent 15 years serving congregations in New York and Boston, and the last seven as the senior minister of the historic First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia. Since 2014, he has been serving as the affiliated community minister for religion and public life at the Church of the Larger Fellowship.
He lives with his husband Vikram Paralkar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.