Dr. Joe Coker is a senior lecturer in the Religion Department at Baylor University. He has been at Baylor for twelve years, and regularly teaches the core religion courses at Baylor, “The Christian Scriptures” and “The Christian Heritage.” Dr. Coker earned his Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and before that attended Candler School of Theology at Emory University (M.Div.) and Carson-Newman College (B.A.). His research is in the area of American religious history, and he teaches a number of church history courses in the Religion Department, including New Religious Movements and a class on the history of apocalyptic thought. Dr. Coker has written on the topic of the temperance and prohibition movement in America, and he is interested in researching the way that religion both shapes the culture around it and is also shaped by the surrounding culture.
Dr. Coker’s wife, Amy, is a Nurse Practitioner at the Family Health Center of Waco. They have four boys. The oldest two - Connor and Layton - are currently students at Baylor, while the younger two, Charlie and Ben, are ages 7 and 5. The family belongs to Seventh and James Baptist Church and love the fact that their church home is within walking distance of their home on campus. Dr. Coker has been involved with the Baylor and Beyond Living Learning Center, housed in North Russell, for several years, and says “I love the ethos and goals of the Baylor and Beyond LLC. It has a unique ability to create a strong sense of community for its residents while at the same time fostering a greater awareness of the global community.”