Earlham School of Religion administrative faculty serve multiple roles. They assist new and current students with their life at ESR, connect with alumni and community members, collaborate with donors to help us fulfill the mission of ESR, and help our teaching faculty with creating collaborative learning environments where students are engaged and challenged to think deeply and critically about matters of faith, theology and religious practice.
Their educational backgrounds and experiences are diverse, but they share a singular focus on equipping new generations of students for lives of active ministry.
Len Clark, Interim Dean of ESR
Len joined the ESR administration in January 2021. Formerly, Len served as a faculty member in Philosophy at Earlham College beginning in 1967 and served as Provost and Academic Dean of Earlham College from 1981 until 2007. He received a B.A. from Wabash College and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Yale University.
Julie Dishman, Director of Recruitment and Admissions
Julie joined the staff of ESR in 2014 as Receptionist to Admissions and the Faculty, and is currently responsible for recruiting new students as well as overseeing the admissions process for ESR. She earned a B.A. from Ball State University in 1998.
L. Thomas Decker, Development Coordinator
Tom joined the administrative faculty at ESR in 2019 and manages the school's development and philanthropy efforts. He earned his M.Div. from ESR in 2018.
Jonelle Ellis, Director of Business Services and Facilities
Jonelle joined the administrative faculty at ESR in 2018 and manages the school's business affairs and facilities. She earned a B.A. from Indiana University East in 2014.
Karla Fribley, Academic Technologies and Seminaries Librarian
Karla Fribley is the Seminaries Librarian for ESR and Bethany Theological Seminary. She provides research support to students, faculty, and staff. She has an undergraduate degree in English from Earlham College ('03), and a Masters in Library and Information Science from Simmons College. She joined ESR and Bethany in 2017.
James Higginbotham, Acting Dean and Professor of Pastoral Care
James is an ordained minister who joined the ESR faculty in 2005. He earned a B.A. from Hiram College in 1980; an M.Div. from Vanderbilt University in 1983; an M.S. from Loyola College of Maryland in 1990; and, a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 2005.
Anne Houtman, President of Earlham College
Anne Houtman began serving as president of Earlham in July 2019. She comes to Earlham from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where she served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. She holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford in Zoology and a master’s degree in Anthropology from UCLA. She earned her bachelor of arts degree from Pomona College. Houtman is a Quaker, and she is the first woman to serve as President of Earlham.
April Vanlonden, Joint Seminaries Registrar
April joined ESR in 2009. She is a recorded Friends minister and earned a B.A. from Indiana University, Bloomington, in 1983 and an M.Div. from ESR in 2004.