Dr. Nathan C. Walker


Nathan C. Walker is president of 1791 Delegates, a public charity that advances the public understanding of the five freedoms of the First Amendment—religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. Named after the year the Bill of Rights was ratified, 1791 Delegates produces academic research and education-technology initiatives and provides executive leadership for mission-related nonprofit organizations. In this context, the Education Law Association and The Foundation for Religious Literacy contracted with 1791 Delegates for Dr. Walker to rebuild and direct their organizations.


Dr. Walker is an award-winning instructor of First Amendment and human rights law at Rutgers University-Camden, where he serves as a lecturer, Honors College faculty fellow, and public humanities fellow. Dr. Walker is known for his expertise in fundraising and building national education campaigns, most recently founding the social learning communities at ReligionAndPublicLife.org and EducationLaw.org.


He is the publisher of the Education Law Association press with Edwin J. Greenlee, J.D., Ph.D., where they are currently working on rebranding the peer-reviewed journal, The Chronicle of Education Law (formerly Education Law Update), and publishing the popular book series, The Principal’s Legal Handbook (2024).


He is the former associate editor and currently a consulting editor of the peer-reviewed journal, Religion & Education (Taylor & Francis). As a scholar in law, religion, and education, Dr. Walker has published five books and various policy reports.

‣ The First Amendment and State Bans on Teachers’ Religious Garb (Routledge 2019), which Kirkus Reviews called “a thorough, magisterial account of a timely and historically important legal debate.”

‣ In November 2016, Publishers Weekly listed Nate’s Cultivating Empathy (Skinner House Press 2016) as one of the top “six books for a post-election spiritual detox.”

‣ In endorsing his book Exorcising Preaching (Chalice Press 2014), the Rev. Meg Riley says, “Nate Walker is boldly creative—a visionary, on-the-edge kind of thinker.”

‣ Nate co-edited with Michael D. Waggoner The Oxford Handbook on Religion and American Education (Oxford University Press 2018), which Reading Religion called “An impressive feat bringing order to this topic without sacrificing scope.

‣ He co-edited with Edwin J. Greenlee the book, Whose God Rules? (Palgrave Macmillan 2011), which Cornel West called “provocative and pioneering.”

‣ He co-authored with Lyal S. Sunga the policy report, “Promoting and Protecting the Universal Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief through Law” (IDLO 2017), which they presented at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

He authored the policy report “Following the Student’s Dollar through the Federal Aid System,” published by the Pell Institute (2005), which he presented at a United States Senate staff briefing.


As a specialist in nonprofit leadership, Dr. Walker currently serves as board chair for the Public Religion Research Institute, board treasurer of the Utah 3Rs Project, an advisor to the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and a coalition member of the Radiant Foundation’s Faith & Media Initiative. Dr. Walker previously served as the executive director of the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute. He also served on the boards of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and Abolitionist Sanctuary. He currently volunteers as a tutor/coach at Ready, Willing, & Able to help reintegrate formerly incarcerated neighbors of his in Philadelphia.


As a leader in various professional associations, Dr. Walker helped write the Religious Studies Companion Document for the C3 Framework for the National Council for the Social Studies. He served the American Educational Research Association as the chair of the Religion & Education group and program chair of the Law & Education group. He also served as a member of the American Academy of Religion’s Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion. He is an affiliated professional member of the American Bar Association and a member of the Association for Continuing Legal Education.


He served as a resident fellow in law and religion at Harvard University. He received his Doctor of Education degree in First Amendment law from Columbia University, where he received his Master of Arts and Master of Education degrees. He became a certified public school teacher in communications and performing arts after graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emerson College.


Reverend Nate is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister and received his Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary. He spent 15 years serving congregations in New York and Boston and the last seven as the senior minister of the historic First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia. Since 2014, he has been serving as the affiliated community minister for religion and public life at the Church of the Larger Fellowship.


Nate enjoys learning American Sign Language, was raised in the Lake Tahoe area in Northern Nevada, and currently lives with his husband Vikram Paralkar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

President, 1791 Delegates

Executive Director & Publisher, Education Law Association

Leadership Skills

  • Executive Leadership
  • Fundraising
  • Financial Management
  • Technology
  • Online Education
  • Strategic Planning
  • Organization Development
  • Legal Research
  • Academic Publishing
  • Curriculum Development
  • Accreditation
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Continuing Legal Education
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging


Research & Teaching Areas

  • First Amendment Law: freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition;
  • Equal Protection & Civil Rights: right to marriage, privacy, and freedom from identity-based discrimination;
  • Education Law: higher education finance; K-12 curriculum and libraries; student, teacher, and parent rights; 
  • Religious Studies: religious literacy, religious pluralism, American religions, religion and democracy, and world religions.