Why study Sociology of Religion?
Most sociologists of religion are self-trained, and too often it shows. Students who go off to graduate school hoping to specialize in the sociology of religion usually discover either that no one on their graduate faculty is a sociologist of religion or that there is only one. To make matters worse, students interested in the sociology of religion seldom have classmates who share that interest. No wonder the journals are full of articles that fail to take into account a substantial and relevant research literature or that make quite out-of-date assumptions.
Our faculty consists of six sociologists of religion, and we're recruiting even more. Our program is exclusively devoted to the social scientific study of religion. Our students will not need to rely on one faculty person to provide their training, and their classmates will share their interests. In this way we shall pursue our mission, which is to provide a new generation of well-trained and productive sociologists of religion.
What resources are available?
Baylor's Ph.D. program in the Sociology of Religion field is the only one in the nation adequately staffed and able to offer each student a customized program including almost unlimited research opportunities.
At present, Baylor has six sociologists whose primary specialty is religion and several others who are doing research on religion -- in addition to affiliated faculty in other social science departments.
Additionally, our department is the home to the nationally-recognized Baylor Religion Survey, and our faculty constitute the Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR). In its short history, ISR has obtained over $5 million in research grants with several proposals still pending. These funded research projects will provide our graduate students with many opportunities to engage in significant, original research.
What can I expect?
The backbone of the program is independent research and writing. We will help our students learn to formulate good research questions, show them where and how to obtain appropriate data and then supervise them as they write up their results in publishable form. Institute for the Study of Religion (ISR) will play a central role in this aspect of the program, offering each student an opportunity to participate in many styles of real research. Among these will be the extensive Baylor University Longitudinal Survey of Religious Behavior and Values. But many other studies are also underway at ISR and, in appropriate instances, we will assist students to collect new data, suitable for a study originated by them.
- About the Department
- Graduate Program
- Undergraduate Program
- Baylor Religion Survey - Wave III
- BAYLOR PROUD
- Recent Sociology Graduate Publishes Dissertation