Nicole Symmonds is a fourth year PhD student in the Graduate Division of Religion in the Ethics & Society course of study. Her work focuses on Christian social ethics and women, gender, and sexuality. She is most engaged in advocating, through her writing, for woman's agency and autonomy within religious and institutional contexts. She earned a Master of Divinity degree with a concentration in theology and ethics from the Candler School of Theology and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Florida A&M University. She is an active student at Emory University who serves on the Student Health Advisory Committee where she was instrumental in the reinstatement of dental insurance for students; the Graduate Division of Religion's Graduate Advisory Committee and the Personnel and Curriculum Committee; and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Graduate Committee. Nicole's teaching experience ranges from serving as a teaching assistant at the Candler School of Theology for Introduction to Christian Ethics to being a teaching associate at Emory College in the groundbreaking course, Black Love. She has also served as an exploratory leader at the Youth Theological Initiative for the last two years.
Nicole is a new convert to Catholicism having been confirmed at Our Lady of Lourdes in 2016. She considers her conversion one of the heart that she is currently tracking toward the head through her doctoral studies and teaching. She was a guest speaker for two Catholicism courses in the spring as well as crafted her doctoral qualifying exams to cover some of the most significant Catholic Social Teachings and official Catholic documents. She is informed by the work of Catholic theologians such as Diana Hayes, Christine Gudorf, M. Shawn Copeland, and Margaret Farley and hopes to follow in the legacy of their work on behalf of the church and women.