Raffety comes to Princeton Theological Seminary by way of Princeton University where she was a lecturer in the writing program and taught courses on modern childhood and disability. She is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and serves as associate pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church in Kendall Park, New Jersey, where she coordinates outreach and education, among them programs for adults with developmental disabilities.
“Besides her own pastoral experience from working with young people, Erin’s expertise as an anthropologist digs deeply into cultural issues affecting youth, and helps us grapple with those issues theologically,” said Kenda Creasy Dean, Princeton Seminary’s professor of youth, church, and culture. “Erin will move our youth and children’s curriculum forward by leaps and bounds, and students are going to be delighted to discover that her scholarship emerges from her missionary spirit and pastoral sensitivity.”
Raffety’s academic interests include kinship, foster care, and domestic adoption in China, and disability, theology, and ethnography. Her current book project, Families We Need, is set in Southwest Guangxi, China, and follows elderly foster moms who raise orphans with disabilities in modern China who are often adopted to the West. Raffety has published articles on childhood, disability, and intergenerational relationships in scholarly journals, and blogs at Little Sacred Space.
She holds a BA in cultural anthropology from Davidson College, an MDiv from Princeton Seminary, and a PhD in cultural anthropology from Princeton University
“One of the biggest lessons I learned was how to be charitable to views other than my own. Christian charity was shown to me, not just in the readings for class, but from the professors, and the Seminary community.”