Jeanne Torrence Finley is a writer and clergy member of the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church. Professionally she has been a college English teacher (Averett University and Forsyth Tech Community College), a campus minister (James Madison University), and pastor of rural churches in southwest Virginia. From 2007 to 2020 she wrote forFaithLink, a UMC curriculum on faith and current affairs. She is a frequent contributor to Ministry Matters and Englewood Review of Books and the author of three curriculum books from Abingdon Press, including Three Simple Rules for Christian Living (an expansion of Reuben Job’s Three Simple Rules).
Currently she is co-writing a book with Noel Paul Stookey about his music, social activism, and spiritual journey. With the working title The Song is Love: Music, Justice, and Faith Beyond Labels), this memoir tells the story of how a goofy high school rock-and-roll singer named Noel went to Greenwich Village; emerged as the “Paul” of Peter, Paul and Mary; became lost in celebrity and found in grace; searched for lyrical language adequate to the gift he’d received; and without ever looking back, kept on singing, seeking, working for justice, and growing in love. At the Writing for Your Life Conference Noel and Jeanne will be talking about co-writing The Song Is Love.
Jeanne is a graduate of Pfeiffer University (B.A. in English), University of Tennessee (M.A. in English), Candler School of Theology at Emory University (M.T.S.), and Vanderbilt Divinity School (M.Div.).
She and her husband Bill live in southwest Virginia, where they enjoy walking in the Blue Ridge mountains and listening to music (folk, jazz, classical, big band). A native Tar Heel, she developed a taste for oyster stew and North Carolina barbecue at an early age.