Lark Stephenson Diaz, DMin is a Teaching Professor at the University of San Diego. Originally from Oregon, she attended the University of Portland graduating Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies. She joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and spent a year developing and managing a program that provided supplemental groceries for low-income seniors and teaching English as a Second Language classes. She then headed off to the Divinity School at Yale University where she earned a Master’s in Divinity and Certificate in Anglican Studies. Returning to Oregon she was ordained a priest in the Episcopal church and has served in churches in Oregon and Southern California. Dr. Diaz was the Head Chaplain and Religion and Philosophy Department chair at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano, California. It was there that she discovered how much she enjoyed teaching. She earned her Doctor of Ministry degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary. Her thesis entitled Teaching to Mystery: The Effect of Education on the Experience of Worship explored the intersection of education and spiritual awareness. Dr. Diaz began teaching in the Theology and Religious Studies Department at the University of San Diego in 2011. Courses she teaches include Introduction to World Religions, Religions of Asia, Introduction to Biblical Studies, Prophetic Voices, Jesus and Justice, and Christian Marriage.
Dr. Diaz loves teaching and has sought to improve her skills as a professor by participating in a number of seminars and study groups. She especially enjoys using experiential learning and team-based learning in her classes. The year before she arrived at USD, Dr. Diaz had the opportunity to sail on the Fall 2010 Semester at Sea voyage. It was on that trip she saw the enormous value of experiential learning and has incorporated it into her courses ever since. She loves international travel and has been fortunate to have been able to teach courses in Spain, New Zealand, and Japan. In 2018 she received the Outstanding LLC Faculty Advisor award for superior performance in teaching and advising from USD. She is a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Program Assessment team and enjoys working with faculty across diverse disciplines.
Dr. Diaz lives just north of San Diego with her husband Rob who works for the Department of Defense, her two college aged kids – Simon and Blythe and her two Corgis – Emma and Bear. She loves reading, knitting colorful socks, exploring new places, and when she has the rare opportunity, skiing.