Crainshaw emphasizes in her teaching, scholarship and administrative leadership the importance of self-awareness and theological and spiritual intentionality to effective religious leadership. As Vice Dean, Crainshaw develops and implements faculty mentoring strategies and provides leadership for research and teaching initiatives. Crainshaw has received several awards for her work as a teacher, including the 2018 Academics, Research, and Engagement award from the Wake Forest Office of Sustainability and the 2015 Teaching Innovation award from the Wake Forest Teaching and Learning Collaborative. Both awards highlight Crainshaw’s course, “Saving Places; Savoring Graces: A Placed-based Study of Sacraments and Ordinances.” The course explores connections between local elements and actions such as water and bread baking, and central actions of worship such as baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

An ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Crainshaw is a well-known author in her field of liturgical theology. She has written five books exploring theological and practical dimensions of worship and religious leadership, including When I in Awesome Wonder: Liturgy Distilled from Everyday Life (Liturgical Press, 2018) and They Spin with Their Hands; They Open Their Hands to the Needy: Women’s Ordination Liturgies Shaping Priestly Communities (Order of St. Luke Press, 2014). She is also the author of a book of poetry, Cedars in Snowy Places: 52 Poems (WFU Library Partners Press, 2019) and co-editor of a two-volume Encyclopedia of Religious Controversies in the United States (ABC-Clio, 2012).