Dr. Ned Edwards P’07, ’10

Dr. Ned Edwards P’07, ’10

Dean of Faculty, Director of Capabilities Approach Program



B.A., The College of Wooster
M.Div, Yale University
D.Min, Hartford Seminary

Dr. Ned Edwards P’07, ’10 earned his B.A. from the College of Wooster in psychology and religion, an M.Div. from Yale University with a focus on philosophical theology, and a D.Min. from Hartford Seminary in sociology and the history of American Protestantism. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Ned has served four churches as senior minister, and has considerable experience in various capacities in secondary independent education including two other girls’ schools as chaplain, director of social services, teacher, dean of faculty, and assistant head. He has taught Hebrew scriptures, Christian scriptures, world religions, ethics, philosophy, advanced placement psychology, and school of rock: the history of American politics and rock and roll from 1950-2000. His commitment to girls’ schools and girls’ education was born out of his daughters’ experience at Walker’s, and is seen not only in his career choices but in his engagement with the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools and his co-authored, peer-reviewed article on adolescent girls’ brain development and spirituality which speaks to the unique ways adolescent girls process information, extrapolating to subjects far beyond spirituality. Ned lives in Simsbury with his wife, Gwen, and enjoys woodworking, learning luthier skills, building guitars, and boating.

What was it about The Ethel Walker School that made you want to work here?

My two daughters, Liss ’07 and Mega ’10, had life-affirming experiences at Walker’s that made me sit up and notice what a girls’ education can do. In addition, my wife spent 12 years teaching and directing theater here. With that kind of experience behind me, how could I not want to work here? And the best part is that our granddaughter, Penner ’38, is also on campus!

Who is your biggest female role model? Why?

On a local level, I have to say Gwen Couch, my life partner. Her dedication, commitment, teaching, learning, and collaboration are always inspiring. On a global level, Carol Gilligan, psychologist and author of In A Different Voice. She had the courage and wisdom to question whether girls and women make the same ethical choices as men, and showed that they represent a very different perspective on doing what is right. Her courage and insight have always been inspiring to me.

What was your favorite subject when you were in middle or high school? Why?

Cultural Anthropology was where I learned to first question our human and cultural norms and explore the question of nature vs. nurture. That question has stayed with me, especially in the ethics classroom.

For teaching faculty: What is your favorite part of the subject(s) you teach now?

My favorite part of teaching ethics is the level of discussion we attain and the range of different subjects we get to talk about. Nothing is out of bounds in the field of ethics, as we all have ideas about right and wrong. Exploring where those come from is always a joy and always revealing.

What is your favorite Walker’s tradition?

Dogswood Day will always be at the top of my list because it is like Heraclitus’s river: it is never the same twice.

If you were to give advice to an incoming Walker’s student, what would it be?

Remain open to new things and new experiences. You don’t have to get it right the first time!

Notable Publications

What Would Catherine of Siena Do: Spiritual Formation and the Brains of Adolescent Girls, Dori Baker and Ned Edwards