The work of the Institute is carried out by Baylor University professors Dean Robyn Driskell, Interim Director, Institute of Church-State Studies; Dr. Christopher M. Rios, Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies & Graduate Program Director, Church-State Studies; and Dr. Jerold Waltman, Editor of the Journal of Church and State.

Their training and experience in the disciplines of theology, church history, law, intellectual history, and social science provide the Institute with an interdisciplinary foundation essential to research, writing, and teaching in the broad field of church-state relations. The Institute was founded in 1957 and since that time has earned a recognized place as a leader in the field of church-state studies. In addition to its own initiatives, the Dawson Institute regularly cooperates with such institutions as the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs at Boston University, the International Center for Law and Religion at Brigham Young University, and the Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University.

Driskell Dr. Robyn Driskell serves as the Interim Director of the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, Divisional Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Sociology at Baylor University. She received her Ph.D. ('97) in sociology from Texas A&M University, and her BA ('91) and MA ('93) from Baylor. She has served as the SACS Coordinator for Academic Assessment for Baylor and Graduate Program Director for the Sociology Department. Her research interests include religion and community, demography, and community involvement. A recent journal article is entitled "Assessing The Role Of Religious Beliefs On Secular And Spiritual Behaviors." Other recent journal publications include topics on the political participation and religion, community in cyberspace, and Mexican American women in the work force. Her co-edited books include: "Discourse on Applied Sociology" (2007) and "Women's Encounter with Globalization" (2010). In 2002, she was designated as Outstanding Teaching Professor of the year at Baylor University. In 2008, she was awarded Outstanding Graduate Program Director. She was also elected the President (2007-08) of the Southwestern Sociological Association. She currently serves on the Executive Board of the Southwestern Social Science Association.

Waltman Jerold Waltman, (B.A., M.A., Ph.D.) is the R.W. Morrison Professor of Political Science, having been at Baylor since 2003. Author or editor of eight books and numerous articles, Dr. Waltman specializes in public law, comparative law, British politics, minimum wage, and labor markets. At Baylor he teaches Constitutional Law, Public Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, and British Politics.

Affiliated Faculty

Berger William A. Mitchell, (B.S., M.A., Ph.D.), Professor Emeritus of Political Science, maintains an office in the Dawson Institute where he continues to do research, writing, service for professional organizations, provide leadership for Baylor Study Abroad, and serve as a valuable mentor to the students, graduates, faculty, and staff. Dr. Mitchell retired from Baylor in 2007 having served as a professor of Political Science (1992-2007), Director of Middle East Studies, Director of Baylor Study Abroad in Turkey, and Joe Murphy Chair and Director of the Center for International Education at BU (2000-2007). He then returned to Baylor at the request of the Dawson Institute in 2009 to teach multidisciplinary courses on Middle East Studies, ethnopoltical conflicts, terrorism and religion, mitigation of humanitarian crises, and international security. In 2011, he was appointed to the position of Graduate Program Director for the Institute and served in that capacity until July of 2013. During his distinguished career at Baylor, Professor Mitchell also led academic teams to Iraq five times from 2003-2007 and was instrumental in creating a Center for Democracy in northern Iraq. He has published numerous articles in national and international journals and is writing his third book. Professor Mitchell has extensive field experience in the Middle East and has responded as a social scientist for NSF earthquake disaster research teams on many occasions. Dr. Mitchell was recognized for this research with the United States Air Force Humanitarian Service Award for Armenia, Iraq, and Turkey. He is also a veteran of the Vietnam and first Gulf wars (Colonel, USAF, retired).