Melanie Trexler is a Ph.D. candidate in theological and religious studies at Georgetown University. Originally from Richmond, Kentucky, Melanie completed her B.A. at Furman University where she double-majored in political science and religion. She continued her education at Vanderbilt University, receiving a Masters of Divinity in 2007 before entering Georgetown’s Ph.D. program in theological and religious studies with a focus in religious pluralism. She studies Islam and Christianity, concentrating on Muslim-Christian relations in the U.S. and in the Arab world. Currently, Melanie is working on her dissertation on Arab Baptist Christians. With the assistance of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Scholarship, Melanie will spend the summer in Lebanon at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, learning more about Arab Baptist Christianity, the history of Baptist missionaries to the Arab world, and improving her Arabic. She will also attend the seminary’s Middle East Conference, a Baptist-Muslim interfaith dialogue conference that will focus on Islam and Africa this year.