Oregon-raised and now based in Durham, NC, Elizabeth "Libbie" Schrader Polczer is a doctoral candidate in Early Christianity and New Testament at Duke University. Her studies focus on textual criticism, Mary Magdalene, and the Gospel of John.
Elizabeth transitioned to religious scholarship after a long career as a singer/songwriter. She was the first winner of the Pantene Pro-Voice competition in 2001, after a performance opening for Jewel at SummerStage in New York's Central Park. You can watch a video of that performance here. Prizes included a nationwide club tour with Poe, as well as a demo deal with Atlantic Records. Her band also took part in Jewel's "Soul City Cafe" program for independent artists, and opened three shows on Jewel's "This Way" tour. She has opened for other artists as diverse as India.Arie, Michelle Branch, Ray LeMontagne, and Rusted Root.
In 2011, she raised over $26,000 through her fanbase in order to record her album, "Magdalene", which is available for purchase on Apple Music. You can watch the "Magdalene" music video here. Elizabeth also released another fan-funded album in 2017, Red Thread.
The "Magdalene" song is what originally inspired her to study Mary Magdalene, beginning her journey in a Master's program at General Theological Seminary and culminating in the publication of her Master's thesis in the Harvard Theological Review. She has published additional peer-reviewed papers in the Journal of Biblical Literature and TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism. You can follow her latest academic research on Academia.edu.