Theologian and sociologist Nancy L. Eiesland was born with a congenital bone defect in her hips in Cando, North Dakota in 1964. She attended the University of North Dakota, but dropped out after her older sister was killed in a car accident. She and her family joined the Assemblies of God and she graduated from Central Bible College in 1986. She became an Assemblies of God minister, but gradually drifted away from the denomination. She earned a master's degree in 1991 and a Ph.D. in 1995 from Emory University. Her master's thesis evolved into her book The Disabled God (1994). During her lifetime, she wrote four books and numerous articles about religion. She was an associate professor at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She died of lung cancer on March 10, 2009 at the age of 44.