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Justice and Policy Studies Department

Christian Matheis

Visiting Assistant Professor for Justice and Policy Studies

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Christian Matheis, Ph.D. is faculty in Community and Justice Studies in the Department of Justice and Policy Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. In 2004 he completed an M.A. in Applied Ethics at Oregon State University and in 2015 he completed his doctorate degree in the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) at Virginia Tech with a specialization in ethics and political philosophy. Matheis specializes in scholarship and practice that bridge social and political philosophy, ethics, public policy, immigration, and direct action organizing. In particular, his work emphasizes how both philosophy of liberation and the strategies enacted in liberatory movements can play a key role in addressing contemporary ethical, political, and economic problems. He works to make theory and research accessible and practical to communities and organizations seeking to foster deeper relationships in a spirit of justice. Christian is an affiliate faculty in Guilford’s program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

His research and teaching concentrations include topics such as solidarity, refugees and immigration, feminism, race and anti-racism, indigeneity, power and policy, and global justice. Recent courses include: JPS 103: Community Problem Solving, JPS 220: Community Building and Organizing, JPS 250: Power, Democracy, Duty to Win, JPS 310: Policy in Action, JPS 329: Social Movements, and JPS 338: Research Methods. Matheis also serves as an affiliate in the Virginia Tech Department of Engineering Education, and as core faculty in the Hollins University Masters in Fine Arts in Dance program where he co-teaches a graduate seminar focused on social identities, systemic oppression, and the liberatory role of dance and the arts.

Matheis formerly served in administrative roles at Oregon State University, Penn State, and Virginia Tech. Most recently, before joining the faculty at Guilford College he served as interim director and assistant dean in the Office of Recruitment, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Virginia Tech Graduate School and faculty in the School of Public and International Affairs.

In addition to his teaching and research, Matheis provides workshops and training programs in areas of human relations facilitation, intergroup dialogue, anti-oppression and social justice strategies, microaggressions, intergroup relations, grassroots direct-action organizing, and on other topics. His workshops and training programs explore and address what Eisner (1979) calls “the null curriculum” – the information, ideas, and beliefs that are factual and true, and yet also excluded from our educational experiences and socialization. Some of his core training programs include an intensive multi-part facilitator train-the-trainer series, the priority of diversity, equity, and inclusion in leadership and decision making, replacing implicit bias and the case for conscientious bias, ethical leadership, lobbying and policy advocacy, refugee resettlement, and other related topics.

Recent consulting clients include the American Society for Engineering Education, the American Crystallographic Association, the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist medical system, the Roanoke Higher Education Center, Hollins University, the Small Business Development Center of Lynchburg, Virginia, Every Campus a Refuge, and range of other small and large organizations.

Matheis is co-editor of Migration Policy and Practice: Interventions and Solutions (2016), and editor of Transformation: Toward a People’s Democracy (2021)


Virginia Tech, Ph.D., 2015
Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought (ASPECT)
Oregon State University, Master of Arts, 2004
Applied Ethics

Courses Taught

JPS 103: Community Problem Solving
JPS 220: Community Building and Organizing
JPS 250: Power, Democracy, Duty to Win
JPS 310: Policy in Action
JPS 329: Social Movements
JPS 338: Research Methods