Justin Kelley, PhD

Raised on a farm in rural Massachusetts, Justin Kelley received his PhD from Rice University’s Department of Religion in 2022. Specializing in Tibetan Buddhist Studies, Justin’s research focuses on the transformation that occurs within religious practice and how these shifts can impact our view of the world. In addition to Buddhist theory and practice, Justin is also deeply interested in the learning process and pedagogy. His personal teaching philosophy is grounded in transformative learning theory, originating with Jack Mezirow, and the engaged pedagogy of bell hooks. Regardless of setting or subject, he aims to create inclusive and empathetic learning experiences—both in-person and digital—that recognize the entirety of human experience.

Justin is a father of two young sons. He and his wife split their time between Kathmandu, Nepal and Southern Vermont. In addition to his role with Tergar Schools, he is also the executive director of the Tergar Institute, a sister organization specializing in higher education.