About Margarita Mooney

Margarita Mooney  is currently an Associate Professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and founder and executive director of Scala Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to reinvigorating classical liberal arts education and preserving the ideas and practices necessary to maintain a free society. Scala’s conferences, colloquia, reading groups, dinner seminars and travel events emphasize hospitality and friendship, aiming to help students connect their intellectual development with character formation and generating transformative educational experiences and authentic friendships. Begun in 2016, Scala has become a movement to transform education and has built networks with students, educators and partner organizations in various locations around the world. 

As a woman whose work lies at the intersection of the social sciences with philosophy and theology, she excels at encouraging students, readers, listeners and audiences to think about important questions in culture, education and faith in new and different ways. She is a frequent speaker to women’s organizations, think tanks, schools, church groups and a variety of other nonprofits as well as businesses about faith and values. In addition to her scholarly books and articles, she has written for publications that reach wide audiences both inside and outside academia such as Real Clear Policy, Scientific American, Public Discourse, Church Life Journal and the Chronicle of Higher Education. She is a passionate keynote speaker on higher education, culture and Christianity at venues including Yale University, Harvard Law School, Columbia University, Duke University, Pepperdine and the Catholic University of America. Her writing and research have been widely cited and praised, including by David Brooks in The New York Times, and Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor-at-large of National Review, who has written that “the world needs more Margarita Mooney.” She has been interviewed by the Acton Institute, Duke Divinity School and the talk show host Eric Metaxas.

Dr. Mooney received her B.A. in Psychology from Yale University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University. She has also been on the faculty of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Yale University. Her book Faith Makes Us Live: Surviving and Thriving in the Haitian Diaspora (University of California Press, 2009) demonstrated how religious communities support the successful adaptation of Haitian immigrants in the U.S., Canada and France, and she’s the co-author (with Camille Z. Charles, Mary S. Fischer,  and Douglas S. Massey) of Taming the River: Negotiating the Academic, Financial, and Social Currents in Selective Colleges and Universities (Princeton University Press, 2009).