Caroline Barnett

Editorial Assistant

A transplant from the Midwest, Caroline grew up in Kansas City and went to school at Kalamazoo College (yes, Kalamazoo is a real city). There, she studied Religion and Anthropology/Sociology with a focus on American Christianity, feminist theology, and conceptions of religious and secular space. While at school, Caroline spent a lot of time in the basement of the Chapel, learning to love messiness of interfaith work.  

An avid member of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Caroline has served the Church as a Ruling Elder, an intern for the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, and an Advisory Delegate to the PC(USA) 221st General Assembly. She has also helped keynote Presbyterian youth conferences. None of this would have been possible without the profound examples of grace the PC(USA) has continually demonstrated to her.

A lover of words, Caroline’s writing has appeared on Believe Out Loud, A Season of Welcome, and Ecclesio: Conversations on the Current Scene through a Gospel Lens. She is grateful to share her thoughts with anyone who will listen. You can follow her on Twitter @Carolinesb11.  

Posts By This Author

Twenty Years of 1 Million or More in Prison: A Reading List

by Caroline Barnett 10-27-2015

Image via /

On Oct. 27, 1994 — 21 years ago today — the U.S. Department of Justice reported that the United States’ prison population had reached over 1 million people. By comparison, that’s the same size as San Jose, Calif.— the tenth biggest city in the US.

Today, the United States’ prison population is over 1.5 million — the size of Philadelphia, Pa., our nation’s fifth largest city.

Yet the size of our prison population — the largest in the world — is only part of the problem. Communities of color and poorer communities are disproportionally sentenced to prison — the result of systemic injustices including income inequality, school-to-prison pipelines, and racial profiling.

We mark many positive anniversaries here at Sojourners, but the work of justice also necessitates recognizing ongoing abuses of human dignity over time. So today, on the grim anniversary of 1 million people housed in our prison system, we choose to remember them and all those still behind bars. Here are ten articles we’re re-reading today about mass incarceration — and how to end it.

What Christians Really Think About Contraception

by Caroline Barnett 10-18-2015
Spoiler alert: Christians don't agree.

Image via /Shutterstock

“Greater contraceptive access should not be a matter of debate,” says Dr. Jeffery Peipert. But try telling that to those making the decisions for our government and churches.

Lady Gaga's New Video Shows the Reality of Campus Assault, and How We Can Help

by Caroline Barnett 09-23-2015

Screenshot from 'Til It Happens to You'/YouTube

Unlike her previous music videos, known for their theatrics and intricate dance numbers, Lady Gaga’s new video “ Til It Happens to You” opens on a simple black and white shot of a college dorm. Like most dorms across the country, the walls are sparse cinderblock, the floors are tiled, and the desk and beds are made of heavily lacquered pinewood.

Like many dorms across the country, this set is the scene of multiple sexual assaults. More than one-in-five women are sexually assaulted or raped on college campuses each year. Lady Gaga’s video was made in conjunction with the documentary film on campus rape, The Hunting Ground, and the stories her video portrays are both unique in their details and disconcertingly familiar.

There are harrowing scenes to watch, but the video does not end on the nights of the assaults. Each survivor has to deal with the trauma in her own way. They pull away from their friends. One fears the bathroom and stops showering. The two friends are unable to talk about what happened and one drops out of school.