Mark Tooley

Mark Tooley

Mark Tooley is IRD's president and editor of IRD's foreign policy and national security journal, Providence.

Prior to joining the IRD in 1994, Mark worked eight years for the Central Intelligence Agency. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and is a native of Arlington, Virginia. A lifelong United Methodist, he has been active in United Methodist renewal since 1988, when he wrote a study about denominational funding of pro-Marxist groups for his local congregation. He attends a United Methodist church in Alexandria, Virginia.  Mark Tooley became president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) in 2009. He joined IRD in 1994 to found its United Methodist committee (UMAction).

He is the author of Taking Back The United Methodist Church, published in 2008; Methodism and Politics in the 20th Century, published in 2012; and The Peace That Almost Was: The Forgotten Story of the 1861 Washington Peace Conference and the Final Attempt to Avert the Civil War, published in 2015. His articles about the political witness of America's churches have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The American Spectator, First Things, Patheos, World, Christianity Today, The Weekly Standard, National Review Online, Washington Examiner, Human Events, The Washington Times, The Review of Faith and International Affairs, Touchstone, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Post, and elsewhere. He is a frequent commentator on radio and television.

Follow Mark on Twitter: @markdtooley




Denominations, Methodism, Trumpism & Ecclesiology

May 4, 2016

In our own often impatient age of frequent ingratitude and hyper individualism, there is declining patience with durable institutions. Much of the Trump and Bernie Sanders movements wants to blow up the “system,” whatever…


United Methodist Controversy & Future

April 25, 2016

It’s tempting to yawn over retired United Methodist Melvin Talbert’s latest same sex rite, this time at a Charlotte church, a nearly all white congregation with few young people and a membership and attendance…


Harriet Tubman, Methodist

April 21, 2016

Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave who rose to become a famous abolitionist, Underground Railroad leader, and social reformer, will soon appear on the $20 bill.


The Peacenik Campaign to Kill Just War

April 20, 2016

Will the Catholic Church reject all use of military force? Mark Tooley comments on the Vatican’s stance on Just War in The Detroit News.


Happy Birthday & Thanks Thomas Jefferson

April 14, 2016

April 13 was the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, to whom everyone who values human equality and liberty owes everlasting thanks.


An Archbishop’s Remarkable Paternity

April 9, 2016

Surely the BBC is already producing a new post Downton Abby miniseries based on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s fantastic discovery that his biological father is actually a former secretary to Winston Churchill.


Pope Francis, Methodists & Ethical Differences

April 8, 2016

This week World Methodist Council leaders met with Pope Francis, marking the opening of a new Methodist ecumenical office in Rome and over 50 years of Methodist-Catholic dialogue.

Nancy Reagan

Nancy Reagan & God

March 13, 2016

Yesterday was Nancy Reagan’s funeral, and The Washington Post ran a reminder story of the controversy surrounding her astrologer, Joan Quigley, who died in 2014.

Donald Trump

Worse Than Hillary: Why I Will Never Vote for Donald Trump

March 11, 2016

After 33 years of consistently and unhesitatingly voting Republican, locally and nationally, this year will be the exception, if Donald Trump is nominee.

Christ at the Checkpoint

‘Christ at the Checkpoint’ Continues Aim to Undermine Evangelical Support for Israel

March 10, 2016

Evangelical activists are concluding today a provocatively titled conference ostensibly gathering about “empowering the Palestinian church.”


Blame Trump and Sanders on Waning Old School Protestantism

March 1, 2016

Does the popularity of unconventional presidential candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders evince America’s dramatically shifting religious demographic?

Norman Wirzba

Duke Theologian Attacks America as Un-Christian

February 29, 2016

Apparently upset over Donald Trump, and no doubt a lot more, Duke University theologian Norman Wirzba wants an end to hypocritical “Christian America.”