Sung Joon Jang, Ph.D., Will Join Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion

April 15, 2014
JangSung Joon Jang, Ph.D.

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WACO, Texas (April 15, 2014) -- Sung Joon Jang, Ph.D., one of the nation’s preeminent quantitative criminologists, has accepted a post as Research Professor of Criminology and co-director of the Program on Prosocial Behavior within Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR).

Jang’s appointment, effective May 19, 2014, “represents a major step forward in advancing ISR’s ambitious research agenda in the area of crime and delinquency,” said Rodney Stark, Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at ISR. “Professor Jang has long been a leader in the field of criminology, and it’s a real coup for us to be able to add him to our growing list of top scholars.”

Byron Johnson, Ph.D., co-director of ISR, said that “hiring Sung Joon Jang is a dream come true. I have had the privilege of conducting research and publishing articles with him for many years, and now we get the opportunity to pursue even more research grants and produce cutting-edge scholarship on the role of religion in reducing crime and delinquency.”

Before joining Baylor University, Jang held appointments at Ohio State University and Louisiana State University. His research focuses on the effects of religion and spirituality as well as family, school, and peers on crime and delinquency. It has been published in social scientific journals of sociology, criminology, psychology and social work. Jang is the founding President of the Korean Society of Criminology in America and has been active in many capacities in the American Society of Criminology.

Jang will lead ISR’s ongoing five-year study of seminaries embedded within maximum security prisons in Louisiana and Texas.

“The opportunity to pursue important and faith-based research that is policy relevant and to have the chance to work with some of the country’s top scholars is very exciting,” Jang said. “I can’t wait to get started.”


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


Launched in August 2004, The Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) exists to initiate, support, and conduct research on religion, involving scholars and projects spanning the intellectual spectrum: history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, philosophy, epidemiology, theology, and religious studies. Its mandate extends to all religions, everywhere, and throughout history. It also embraces the study of religious effects on such things as prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development, and social conflict. While always striving for appropriate scientific objectivity, its scholars treat religion with the respect that sacred matters require and deserve.

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