About Us

About Us Title

Our Team

Nancy Nason-ClarkDr. Nancy Nason-Clark is a social scientist by profession who has a very important story to tell. For over 20 years, she has been writing about what happens when abuse strikes families of faith. Through her books, her international speaking engagements, the workshops she conducts and the articles she writes, the message is clear: there is a holy hush hovering over most religious congregations when it comes to talking about abuse. Nancy’s creation of the RAVE Project is based on her desire to shatter that silence NOW! By combining the language of the spirit (religious-based resources) with the language of contemporary culture (community-based resources), every pastor and every congregation can be part of the solution to abuse. To find out more about Nancy’s activities in the Department of Sociology at UNB, click here. To view her recent publications, click here. To see her recent speaking engagements, click here. To view a list of workshops or seminars presented, click here 

Barb Fisher-TownsendDr. Barbara Fisher Townsend teaches Sociology at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, following a three-year post-doctoral fellowship with the RAVE Project.  For ten years her research agenda has focused on how best to change the thinking and behaviour of religious men who have acted abusively in order to bring peace and safety to those impacted by violence.  She has made over 75 conference and public presentations on this topic and authored and co-authored articles and book chapters with Nancy Nason-Clark, and others, which appear in The Journal of Religion and Abuse, Social Work and Christianity, Critical Social Work, the Handbook on Sociology of Religion and Social Institutions, and American Sociology of Religion: Histories.  After having served as an author and editor of Beyond Abuse in the Christian Home:  Raising Voices for Change (2008), and Responding to Abuse in Christian Homes:  A Challenge to Churches and their Leaders (2011), she is now working on the third volume in this series entitled Strengthening Families and Ending Abuse:  Churches and their Leaders Look to the Future, as well as completing a book (with Nancy Nason-Clark) on religious men who act abusively. To find out more about Barb’s activities with RAVE, click here.


Steve McMullinDr. Steve McMullin has served for 27 years as a Baptist pastor and now serves on the faculty of Acadia Divinity College.  His interest in the relationships between religious groups and the wider society and his ministry experiences in both rural and urban contexts have instilled in him an interest in finding effective ways for churches and religious leaders to partner with resources in their communities to provide compassionate, practical help to those who are victims of domestic violence.  His research has focused on how best to provide training and resources for pastors and for seminary students so that they are well prepared to address and respond to domestic violence.  To find out more about Steve’s activities, click here.



Cathy HoltmannCathy Holtmann is a Catholic feminist and has worked in a variety of lay ministries, including music, campus and youth ministry, religious education, ecumenism and social justice.  She has taught part-time for the departments of Religious Studies and Education at St. Thomas University.  To find out more about Cathy’s teaching click here. Her MA in sociology from UNB was an exploration of the relationship between faith and social action in the lives of Catholic women.  Currently in the doctoral program, she intends to do research on immigrant women in Atlantic Canada, looking at the role that religion plays in the migration process, particularly as it pertains to situations of domestic violence. Cathy brings her passion for justice and women’s equality to the work of the RAVE project.