Powers was raised as an Episcopalian but spent much of her early adult life as an atheist. In her mid-30s, she became an evangelical Christian. The process of conversion began when she dated a religious Christian man, who introduced her to the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and the teachings of its pastor, Tim Keller, and culminated in an experience in 2006 when, during a trip to Taiwan, she believes that she was visited by Jesus after waking up in the middle of the night.
She has called her conversion “a bit of a mind bender” due to her political beliefs and former atheism, and prefers the term “orthodox Christian” over “evangelical” to describe herself, given the cultural baggage around the latter term. She has said that the biggest impact her new-found faith had on her political beliefs was that she came to “view everyone as God’s child and that means everyone deserves grace and respect.” On October 10, 2015, Powers was received into the Catholic Church.