D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership

Matthew Bersagel Braley

Research Fellow 2012-13

Matthew Bersagel Braley

Assistant Professor/Program Coordinator
Master of Arts in Servant Leadership
College of Business and Leadership

Prior to coming to Viterbo, Bersagel Braley completed a B.A. in Africana Studies and English at Luther College, a master’s degree in religion and theology from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, and a Ph.D. in Religion (Ethics and Society) from Emory University. His dissertation focused on the intersection of theology, religion and global health in the primary health care movement and the response to the global AIDS pandemic. He continues this work through his membership in the International Religious Health Assets Program, a network of scholars and practitioners employing assets-based development approaches to understand the contribution of religion in health care. In addition to his work in global health, he has served as executive director of Southern Truth and Reconciliation, a university-community partnership highlighting reconciliation practices of communities confronting legacies of racial violence. Bersagel Braley teaches graduate and undergraduate courses that explore the relationship between religion, ethics, leadership, and social change. 

Bersagel Braley’s fellowship research explores the limits and possibilities of religion as a regenerative force in modern health systems, focusing especially on the status of theologically resonant conceptions of health, healing, and human flourishing in the complex, largely empirical, interdisciplinary intersection of health care.


  • “Global Health after Pentecost: Toward Theological Reflection as a Religious Health Asset, “Christian Journal for Global Health,” Vol. 1, Issue 2 (Fall 2014)  
  • “The Christian Medical Commission and the World Health Organization, in Religion as a Social Determinant of Health (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).
  • Checking Vitals: The Theological (Im)Pulse of Christian Leadership in Global Health.” Practical Matters 4 (2011), http://www.practicalmattersjournal.org
  • Rooting, Reforming, Restoring: A Framework for Justice in Rwanda, Online Journal of Lutheran Ethics (March 2004), http://www.elca.org/JLE

Presentations Related to Current Research

  • “Upstream Ethics: Love (and Justice) in a Time of Cholera,” paper, Water Ethics Conference, Viterbo University, 2015
  •  “Reflections, Research, Results: Viterbo University’s Servant Leadership Program,” workshop co-presenter with Tom Thibodeau and Glena Temple, Greenleaf Center International Conference on Servant Leadership, June 2013
  • “Saying and Doing Something Theological: The Possibilities of Theocentric Participants as Agents of Social Change,” Society of Christian Ethics, January 2013.
  • “Re-Valuing Religion: The Persistence of the Theological in Global Health,” Upper Midwest Regional American Academy of Religion, April 2011.
  • “More than Just Health: Towards a Christian Ethic of Decent Care in an HIV-Infected World,” Society of Christian Ethics, 2009.
  • “Documenting a Disease: Varieties of Moral Discourse in the Global Response to HIV/AIDS,” Southeast Commission for the Study of Religion, Ethics Section, 2007.
  • “Learning to Stand with Africa: Religious Networks, Human Rights, and HIV/AIDS.”
  • Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Religion and Social Science Section, 2006.