Joel Mlecko earned a PhD in World Religions and a minor in Anthropology from the Catholic University of America/Consortium of Universities, Washington, D.C. He is a former chairperson and now emeritus professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), the largest school in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). He cowrote the proposal for IUP’s BA degree program in the academic study of religions—the only such program in the PASSHE. Joel coauthored/coedited A Christian Understanding of the Human Person (Paulist Press) and he coproduced the video documentary A Krishna Family (Indiana University, Bloomington, distributor).
Joel is the recipient of several teaching awards and has taught in the IUP Honors College and in IUP programs in Salzburg, Austria and at Oxford University. As a Commonwealth Speaker (National Endowment for the Humanities), he spoke throughout Pennsylvania on the religious diversity of the state. Joel also lectured at Marietta College, American University, Penn State New Kensington, George Mason University, Duquesne University, and for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Joel’s study and research has been in North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. He was a Research Scholar at the Tantur Institute in Jerusalem, a faculty member of the Semester At Sea Program (Fall 2001), and a Fulbright Scholar in India.