Consultation on COVID-19: Exploring Faith Dimensions

A tourist protected by a medical mask in the square of St. Peter's Basilica, closed to visitors due to COVID-19.

March 11, 2020
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT
Location: Berkley Center Third Floor Conference Room Map

The COVID-19 pandemic represents one of the greatest challenges to date in both global health and religious practice. How are religious institutions, beliefs, leaders, and practices contributing—positively and negatively—to the ongoing coronavirus crisis and response? This discussion captured the experience and insights of experts on global health and religious lay leaders as the foundation for further strategic reflections towards a positive path ahead.

Participants were present both virtually and in-person. Coffee was served.



  • Katherine Marshall (World Faiths Development Dialogue/Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs)
  • David Robinson (independent consultant for interreligious action in humanitarian emergencies and development, former senior advisor for operations at World Vision)
  • Olivia Wilkinson (Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities)


  • Doug Fountain (Christian Connections for International Health)
  • Rebecca Waugh (IMA World Health)
  • Gagik Karapetyan (World Vision US)
  • Lisa Firth (Salvation Army US)
  • Heidi Christensen (Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives at the US Department of Health and Human Services)
  • Jean Duff (Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities)
  • Neelley Hicks (Harper Hill Global)
  • David Boan (World Evangelical Alliance)
  • John Blevins (Emory University)
  • Kathy Erb (Christian Connections for International Health)
  • Lachlan Forrow (Beth Israel/Harvard Medical School)
  • Lindsay Denny (Global Water 2020)
  • Maeve McKean (Georgetown University)
  • Mariah Johnston (World Bank)
  • Michael Stoto (Georgetown University)
  • Abigail Nelson (Episcopal Relief)
  • Christopher Zefting (Religions for Peace International)
  • Alfonso Rosales (World Vision International)
  • Mercy Niwe (World Bank)
  • Mimi Kiser (Emory University)
  • Christina Tobias-Nahi (Islamic Relief USA)
  • John Monahan (Georgetown University)
  • Sarah Thompson (World Faiths Development Dialogue)
  • Ruth Gopin (Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs)
  • Henry Brill (Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs)

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Related Publications

Website March 30, 2020

Faith and COVID-19: Resource Repository

This online platform aims to collect and communicate information related to religious actors responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizing information so that it can be quickly found and used by development policymakers and practitioners and religious actors who seek to work together in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and broader emergencies.

Event Summary March 11, 2020

Consultation on COVID-19: Exploring Faith Dimensions

This event summary highlights discussions on March 11, 2020 at the Berkley Center on “COVID-19: Exploring Faith Dimensions,” and it draws on the experience and insights of leaders, past and present, on global health.
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