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Christopher L.
Church, PhD
Professor Philosophy & Religion
Campus Location: 
Main Campus


  • PhD, New Testament  Ethics, 1990, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky 
  • MDiv, Theology, 1985, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky 
  • BS, Chemistry, 1982, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 
  • Additonal graduate hours in biomedical ethics:
    • Medical College of Wisconsin, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Milwauke, Wisconsin,
    • The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity/Trinity International University, Chicago, IL 


  • Rose Y. Temple Distinguished Faculty of the Year, Baptist College of Health Sciences, 2007–08. 
  • National Endowment for the Humanities’ summer seminar participant: “Bioethics in Particular,” University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2000 

 Professional Affiliations

  • American Society for Bioethics & Humanities
  • The Hastings Center
  • Kennedy Institute of Ethics
  • Mid-South Biomedical Ethics Center, Board Chair
  • Society of Biblical Literature
  • NAtional Association of Baptist Professors of Religion

Professional Experience              

  • Ethics Consultant, SJCRH, Memphis, Tennessee, May, 2000–present
  • Ethics Committee Chair, SJCRH, Memphis, Tennessee, May 2000–August 2006 
  • Ethics Committee member, Baptist Memorial Hospital, Desoto, MS, 2006–present 

Select Publications     

  • Hinds P, Drew D, Oakes L l, Fouladi M, Spundt S, Church C, and Furman W. “End-of-life care preferences of pediatric patients with cancer,” Journal of Clinical Oncology, 23:6 (December 20, 2005).
  • Barfield R and Church C. "Informed Consent in Pediatric Clinical Trials," Current Opinion in Pediatrics, March 2005.
  • Church C, Santana V, Hind P, and Horwitz E. “On the boundary between research and clinical care.” Learning from Cases: Ethics and Research with Children, ed. Eric Kodish (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).

National or Regional Presentations  

  • Owen J,  Fox-Hill E,  Church C & Capocaccia M A. “Ethical Issues in End-of-life and Palliative Care in the Long-term, Skilled-nursing Facility,” Tennessee Health Care Administrators annual meeting, Gatlinburg, TN (August 29, 2006). 
  • Church C, Blythe J, Owen J & Capocaccia, M A. “Ethical Issues in End-of-life Care,” the National Civil Rights Museum’s 2006 Conference on Freedom: Patient Rights – A Shared Responsibility (April 4, 2006). 
  • Church C. “End-of-life care preferences of pediatric patients with cancer” at the annual meeting of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, Washington, DC (October 22, 2005).
  • Church C, et al. “In the End: Public Policy and Personal Decision Making about Death,” a health policy forum, sponsored by the Center for Health Services Research, University of Tennessee Health Science Center (July 19, 2005).
  • Church C. “Belmont at 25: Continuing Relevance, Contemporary Challenges” at the Society for Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) meeting, Arlington, VA, April 16, 2004.
  • Santana V., Church C, and Goldberg J, “Fundamentals of Human Research Ethics” a workshop co-facilitated with at the Society for Clinical Research Associates meeting, Arlington, VA, April 17, 2004.
  • Church C., et al. “APON Live!” a simulated ethics consult at the APON (Association of Pediatric Oncology Nursing) annual meeting in Memphis, TN (October 2001).

Local Presentations                           

  • “Situational Reasoning about Values: Jonsen’s ‘4-box Approach’ to Clinical Bioethics Ethics.” St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 2008 Domestic Affiliate Social Work Conference, March 14, 2008. 
  • "Responding to Parents’ Requests to ‘Do Everything.’” LeBonheur Children’s Hospital Ethics Rounds, February 19, 2008.“Responding to Requests to ‘Do Everything.’” Baptist Desoto Ethics Rounds, February 14, 2008; Baptist Desoto Ethics Committee, October 31, 2007;  Mid-South Center for Biomedical Ethics, St. Francis Hospital, November 13, 2007. 
  • “What to advise your elderly clients, family members and/or friends about end-of-life medical decisions.” Co-sponsored by Memphis Area Legal Services, the University of Memphis School of Law Health Law Institute, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation, and Methodist-LeBonheur Health Care, September 19, 2007.                         
  • “The family’s role in medical decision making,” Baptist Desoto Ethics Committee on July 11, 2007.                                                
  • Ethical issues in withdrawal and withholding of medically provided nutrition and hydration,” University of Memphis, Masters Students in Nutrition, October 24, 2006.
  • “Ethics of public funding for embryonic stem cell research,” Baptist College of Health Sciences, July 24, 2006.
  • “Legal and ethical aspects of pediatric end-of-life care” with Deborah Echtenkamp as part of the ELNEC curriculum. St. Jude on May 20, 2005.
  • “Religious and cultural perspectives on end-of-life care,” the Mid-South Comfort Care Coalition, May 19 & 26, 2005.
  • “Ethical considerations in treatment for a child with multiple relapsed ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia),” a panel discussion for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital joint Leukemia, Lymphoma and Hematology & Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation grand rounds, February 8, 2005.
  • Participated in a panel discussion, “End-of-life decisions for a patient with recurrent Wilm’s Tumor,” for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Tumor Board, January 28, 2005.
  • "Phase 1 participation: A case study," a panel discussion, at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital on Oct. 5, 2004 with Joanne Wolfe and Wayne Furman.
  • “Assent for nonbeneficial research” at Grand Rounds, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, February 12, 2004.
  • “Ethical Issues in dietetics: Case studies” presented at the University of Memphis (February 10, 2003).
  • “Ethical status of demands for experimental therapies and of refusals of such therapies” presented at SJCRH Fellows Rounds (January 27, 2003).
  • “Baby K and Benito Agrela: Ethics of demands for ‘futile’ treatment and of refusals of medically indicated treatment by teens” presented to SJCRH Ethics Committee (January 21, 2002). 
  • “Health Care Ethics 101: A New Member Orientation Workshop” presented at SJCRH (November 19, 2002).
  • “Against Medical Advice: Understanding and Responding to a Religiously Based Refusal” presented at SJCRH Leukemia-lymphoma Grand Rounds (July 2, 2002).
  • “Cases that Shaped Bioethics” presented at SJCRH Fellows Rounds (June 17, 2002).
  • “Ethical challenges students confront as they are introduced to the clinical setting” presented to the  Memphis Area Consortium on Biomedical Ethics, Baptist College of Health Sciences (April 25, 2002).
  • “The feasibility of solid organ transplants for bone marrow transplant patients” panelist in a roundtable discussion at SJCRH (March 2002).
  • “Medical futility reconsidered” presented to SJCRH fellows (January 2002)
  • “Recent literature on futility in pediatric contexts” presented to the SJCRH ethics committee (January 2002). 
  • “A second bone marrow transplant for a high-risk patient with malignant osteopetrosis” respondent to Dr. Ed Horwitz’s presentation at the Memphis Area Consortium on Biomedical Ethics quarterly meeting at SJCRH (January  2002).
  • “Cross-cultural issues in end-of-life care for an Arab-American patient” presented to SJCRH social workers (November 2001).
  • Erika Grimes v. Kennedy Krieger Institute: A research Tempest or Much Ado About Nothing” presented at the SJCRH Patient Care Research Council (November 2001).
  • “A conflict over end-of-life care: Should physicians forgo chest compressions on a child with end-stage osteopetrosis when parents refuse to consent to a DNR order” presented to the SJCRH ethics committee (August 2001).
  •  “Conflicting duties: Whom do we protect – the patient, the community or ourselves?” for the local Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (April 2001).
  • “Conflicting duties: Whom do we protect – the patient, the community or ourselves?” for the SJCRH HIV Care Team (March 2001).
  • “Update on a hospice patient with a difficult home situation” presented to the SJCRH ethics committee (March 2001).
  • “Religious perspectives on personhood: Ethical implications of divergent concepts of ‘person’ in world religions” for a master’s level nursing ethics class, Union University (April 2001).
  • “Futility in pediatric oncology: A case study” (With Paul Woodard, MD) for the SJCRH Ethics Committee (April 2001).
  • “Decision-making by adolescents” for the SJCRH Ethics Committee (March 2001).