In addition to being an author, Natalya is a faculty member, clergyperson, citizen, activist, spouse and mother, not necessarily in that order! See below to learn a little more about her experiences of each.

Teaching & Education

The Rev. Dr. Natalya Cherry joined the faculty of Brite Divinity School in 2018 as Assistant Professor in Methodist Studies and Theology. You can view her inauguration address here. At Brite she teaches courses such as United Methodist History & Doctrine, UM Polity, Evangelism, Missions & Marginalization: Theology of Reparations, and Epistemology of Religious Experience. She is honored to have received the highest number of votes by students for the Brittan Endowed Excellence in Teaching Award and by faculty for the Catherine Saylor Hill Endowed Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship and Service Award, actually receiving the latter in 2023. In Fall of 2023, she added the Director of United Methodist Studies role to her portfolio. She was officially awarded tenure in February 2024 and promoted to Associate Professor, effective August 2024.

She received her BA from Georgetown University, an MDiv from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, and a PhD from Southern Methodist University. 


Natalya has been married since 2002 to Paul, a Licensed Professional Counselor  and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor who co-owns Same Time Next Week? Counseling & Consulting, PLLC.

Their son, Gregory, is in eleventh grade at Trinity Valley School and is active in theatre, music, and service.


Natalya is an ordained Elder in the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church, where she pastored local churches from 2001-2013 and previously served on the ministry staffs of Bethesda UMC in Bethesda, MD and Metropolitan Memorial UMC in Washington, DC.

After serving in these ministry capacities for over 14 years, Dr. Cherry returned to the academy in order to encourage and equip theology students with an awareness of God’s grace, so that they may hear and respond boldly to God’s call to make a difference in this world with that same grace.

Research & Writing

Natalya's research interests include numerous themes in Christian systematic and constructive theologies, historical theology, and Wesley and Methodist Studies. She is particularly interested in detoxifying the church and academy in her writing, seeking to center marginalized voices, de-center whiteness, and advocate for fuller inclusion of and leadership by persons historically and presently excluded on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability,  and/or economic status

She is pleased to be bringing this perspective and purpose to the academy through her service as Steering Committee Co-chair for 2024-2029 of the American Academy of Religion's Wesley and Methodist Studies Unit, as a member of the Editorial Board for Methodist Review, and as a regular book and peer reviewer for Wesley & Methodist Studies and Baylor University Press.

Fort Worth

Natalya loves living in the 12th largest city in the United States. Even when it breaks her heart with injustice that calls her to join her neighbors in the streets. Especially when it snows, however rarely (reminding her of life in Pennsylvania and Washington, DC, places she lived and worked prior to moving to Texas for graduate school in 2013).

Demographically a majority minority city, Fort Worth is like many southern cities that struggle to overcome a racist past, as the murder of Atatiana Jefferson by FWPD Officer Aaron Dean in October 2019 attests. In her preaching and action, she seeks to join the vibrant efforts to open up this "Gateway to the West."


As a clergyperson appointed to pastor local churches, Natalya (a lifelong, active registered No Party voter) strove to remain neutral and empathetic almost to a fault. Once appointed beyond the local church, she became acutely aware of the ways that silence is violence and dedicated not only her work but her volunteer actions to better allyship and advocacy.