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7 Kelly Center

Stephen Potthoff

Professor of Religion, Philosophy & Peace Studies,
peace studies

Stephen Potthoff has been teaching at Wilmington College since 2003, and offers a wide array of courses in Religion and Philosophy, including Introduction to the Bible, Jesus and Early Christianity, Comparative Religions, Values and Ethics, Dreams and World Mythology, and Ghosts and the Paranormal, among others. At the undergraduate and graduate levels, he pursued studies in New Testament and early Christianity, ancient religion, and archaeology. In addition to studying for a year with a Fulbright Scholarship in Germany after college, he has worked as an archaeologist on excavations in Indiana, Israel, Germany, Tunisia, and England. His scholarly interests include not only early Christianity, ancient religion and archaeology, but also Native American spirituality and culture, ecospirituality, dreams, and near-death visionary experience.

Stephen has published articles on ghosts and near-death experiences in the ancient world, deep ecology, prosperity theology, and his work with dreams in the college classroom. In 2016, he published The Afterlife in Early Christian Carthage, a book which examines how near-death experiences shaped early Christian beliefs and rituals related to death and the afterlife. He is presently writing a book inspired by the extraordinary dreams recorded by Wilmington College tropical ecology students during two-week field research trips to Costa Rica, and has presented these dreams at conferences both nationally and internationally. In Wilmington College courses and at conferences around the country, he facilitates dream sharing workshops devoted to self-exploration, healing, and reconnecting people to the natural world. He spent his sabbatical year 2011-2012 as the Cadbury Scholar at Pendle Hill, a Quaker study and retreat center outside Philadelphia, where he conducted research on dreams and the natural world in the lives of early Quakers.


  • BA: Swarthmore College (PA)
  • MA: Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Ph.D.: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Professional Organizations, Past and Present

  • American Academy of Religion/Society for Biblical Literature
  • International Association for the Study of Dreams
  • International Association for Near-Death Studies
  • Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology
  • Friends Association for Higher Education


Stephen is a member of the Dry Dredgers (Cincinnati fossil club), the Minnesota Mineral Club, and enjoys hiking, swimming, yoga, and meditation.