Adjunct Professor


Dr. Fowler is a Senior Fellow and Professor of Ethics, Spirituality and Faith Integration at Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA.  She is also an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, and holds the honorific “Code Scholar” for her seminal and ongoing work on the Code of Ethics for Nurses (American Nurses Association). She is recognized as one of nursing’s leading Ethicists, having worked as a Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard University (1978) and as a Kellogg Fellow (1989-92).  A prolific writer and speaker, Dr. Fowler has written 10 books including the award-winning Ethics at the Bedside, along with hundreds of articles and book chapters.  She has also given over 1,100 invited keynotes and plenary presentations.

Dr. Fowler has been a longtime friend of TWU Nursing.  She has been an invited speaker on numerous occasions, both as a keynote for each of the Faith and Nursing Symposia, and as a visiting scholar providing professional development for nursing faculty on faith integration.  In addition, she provided intellectual and moral support for the development of the MSN program.  She was the lead editor on a book that 5 TWU nursing faculty contributed chapters to:  Fowler, Reimer-Kirkham, Sawatzky & Johnston Taylor (2011) Religion, Religious Ethics, and Nursing (Springer).

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Research & Scholarship

Dr. Fowler’s current research interests include the history and development of nursing ethics, especially in the anglophone countries; nursing’s heritage ethics, 1860s—1965; social ethics and religious social ethics; and religion in nursing.



The ethics of memorialization of nurses

The American Nurses Memorial, École Nightingale, Talence, Bordeaux, France

Gender, class and race in the formation of early nursing as a profession, and its ethics

Nursing’s heritage ethics, bioethics, and the moral identity of nursing

Current research awards

Fulbright Scholars Research Award, April—August 2019, University of Surrey, UK


  • Diploma (Kaiser Foundation School of Nursing)
  • Bachelor of Science (nursing), (University of California, San Francisco)
  • Master of Science (nursing), (University of California, San Francisco)
  • PhD (Religion & Social Ethics), (University of Southern California)
  • MDiv (Fuller Theological Seminary)
  • Diploma (Spiritual Direction) San Francisco Theological Seminary
  • AA in progress (wood Manufacturing Technology: Furniture Making) (Cerritos Community College

Awards & Honors

2018    Fulbright Scholars Research Award, University of Surrey, UK, 2019

2015    Health Ministries Association, Honorary Lifetime Member

2008    Publications Award of Excellence, Society for Technical Communication for Fowler, Marsha “Come; Give Me a Taste of Shalom.”  In Pinch, W. And Haddad, A. (Eds.) Nursing and Health Care Ethics: A Legacy and a Vision.   Silver Spring, MD:  American Nurses Association Publishing, 2008, 269–281.

2008    Publications Award of Merit from the Washington, DC, Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication for Fowler, Marsha (ed.)  Guide to the Code of Ethics for Nurses: Interpretation and Application.  Silver Spring, MD:  American Nurses Association Publishing, 2008.

2007    University of California at San Francisco, “Centennial Wall of Fame”

2007    Participant, Ethics and Nursing: Legacy and Vision Project, Creighton University, Nebraska,

2002    Award of Merit, Society for Technical Communications, for The Code of Ethics for Nurses

            with Interpretive Statements, and Code products.

2002    Book of the Year Award, American Journal of Nursing for The Code of Ethics for Nurses with

            Interpretive Statements

2002    Graduate Faculty Outstanding Scholarship Award, Azusa Pacific University,

2002     American Nurses’ Association Recognition for Outstanding Service and Dedication to the

            Project Task Force for the Revision of the Code of Ethics, 1996-2001

1999     Provost’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Research and Service, Azusa Pacific University

1997     Evangelical Press Association, Higher Goals in Christian Journalism Award, First Place, standing column category.  For column on euthanasia in A.P.U. Life

1997   University of California at San Francisco, School of Nursing, Alumna of the Year Award

1994   Honorary life member, Association of Medical and Pharmacological Physicians of Russia

1993   Elected as Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing,

1992   Honorary Human Rights Award, American Nurses' Association

1989   Fellow, W.K. Kellogg Foundation National Fellowship in leadership, 1989-1992

1989     Research Book of the Year Award, American Journal of Nursing, for Sarter, B. Non-Traditional Methods in Nursing Research.  NY:  National League for Nursing (chapter contribution: Fowler, Marsha D. M. and Fry, Sara T.  "Ethical Inquiry.")

1987     Book of the Year Award, American Journal of Nursing,, for Fowler & Levine-Ariff, Ethics at the Bedside, in two categories (Health Issues and Medical-Surgical Nursing)

1984   National Honorary Member Alpha Tau Delta Honor Society, National Fraternity for Professional Nurses,

1981    President's Circle Scholarship, University of Southern California,

1978    Fellow, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Fellowship in Medical Ethics, Harvard University

1977-1979 Calif. Thoracic Society Teaching Fellowship (salary), awarded annually, 3yrs.

1972    Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society for Nursing

Recent Publications

Fowler, Marsha and Davis, Anne.  “Ethical Issues Occurring within Nursing Education,” Nursing Ethics, V. 20 No. 2, March 2013, pp 126-141.

Fowler, Marsha D.M. Guide to the Code of Ethics for Nurses: Development, Interpretation and Application.  2nd ed. Silver Spring: American Nurses Association, 2015.

Fowler, Marsha D.M. Guide to Nursing’s Social Policy Statement: Understanding the Essence of the Profession from Social Contract to Social Covenant.  Silver Spring: American Nurses Association, 2015.

Fowler, Marsha D.M. “Heritage Ethics: Toward a Thicker Account of Nursing Ethics,” Nursing Ethics. 23(1) 7-21, Feb 2016.

Fowler, Marsha D. “Nursing’s Code of Ethics, Social Ethics, and Social Policy,” Nurses at the Table: Nursing, Ethics, and Health Policy, special report, Hastings Center Report 46, no. 5 (Sept-Oct, 2016).

Fowler, Marsha D., Tschudin, Verena, Peter, Elizabeth.  "Tributes to Sr. M. Simone Roach, Sister of St. Martha of Antigonish, Canada, 30th July 1922 to 2nd July 2016." Nursing Ethics 23(5), August 2016, pp. 487-89.

Fowler, Marsha D. "'Unladylike Commotion': Early Feminism And Nursing's Role In Gender/Trans Dialogue," Nursing Inquiry, 24:1, 2017, DOI: 10.1111/nin.12179

Fowler, Marsha D. "Faith and Ethics: The 2015 Revision of the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements," Journal of Christian Nursing.  Oct/Dec 2017, 34(4), 216-224.

Fowler, Marsha.  “Why the History of Nursing Ethics Matters,” Nursing Ethics, 2017, 24(3), 292-304.    

Davis, Anne and Fowler, Marsha.  “Moral Distress:  Looking Back to Move Forward,” in Ulrich, C. & Grady, C. (eds.). Moral Distress in the Professions.  NY: Springer Nature.  2018. Pp. 23-33.

Fowler, Marsha, Laurent, Nathalie, and Turner, Martha.  “For nurses who die in service:

The American Nurses Memorial of Bordeaux,” The American Nurse. 13(4) 45-47, April, 2018.

Fowler, Marsha.  “Commentary on Hamric, A.B., Schwarz, J.K., Cohen, L., & Mahon, M. “Assisted Suicide/Aid in Dying: What Are Nurses to Do?” American Journal of Nursing, 118 (4), 50-59, April 2018.

Fowler, Marsha. “Duties to Self: The Nurse as a Person of Dignity and Worth.” Creative Nursing. August—September, 2018. Accepted; at press.

Fowler, Marsha and Dorman, Dave.  “Evangelism in Patient Care: An Ethical Analysis.” Journal of Christian Nursing.  Accepted. 2019.