Carson Mencken

Professor of Sociology
Chair of Sociology
High Res Photo


Ph.D. Louisiana State University (Sociology) 1994
M.A. Louisiana State University (Sociology) 1989
B.S. College of Charleston, SC (Sociology) 1987


F. Carson Mencken is professor of sociology and chair of the sociology department. He received his BS degree summa cum laude from the College of Charleston (SC) in 1987, and his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 1994. His areas of research expertise include civic engagement, religiosity, and research methods. Recently, with Dr. Charles Tolbert he has been examining the impact of changes in the banking industry on the availability of capital for local businesses and entrepreneurs in rural America. This research has been funded by two competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He has authored over 40 professional publications. He has received competitive grant funding for his research from such sources as the Tennessee Valley Authority, the United States Department of the Interior, the United States Department of Justice, and the John Templeton Foundation.

He and his family are actively involved with the Dayspring Baptist Church of Waco.


Paranormal America: Ghost encounters, UFO sightings, Bigfoot hunts and other Curiosities in Religion and Culture. 2nd Edition ( w/ Christopher Bader and Joseph Baker). 2017. New York University Press. ISBN: 978-1-4798-1965-2 (hardback) ISBN: 978-1-4798-1528-9 (paperback). (311 Pages)

Recent Publications

F. Carson Mencken and Paul Froese. 2019.“Gun Culture in Action.” Social Problems 66(1): 3-27.

Michael C. Lotspeich, Charles M. Tolbert, and F. Carson Mencken. 2019. “Oil and Gas Development and Small Business Lending in U.S. Nonmetropolitan Counties.” Journal of Maps 15(1): 46-51.

F. Carson Mencken and Charles M. Tolbert. 2018. “Community Banks and Loans for Nonmetropolitan Businesses: A Multilevel Analysis from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners” Rural Sociology 83(2): 376-401.

F. Carson Mencken and Charles Tolbert. 2018. "Small Business Lending and Economic Well-Being in Texas Conties: A Test with Community Reinvestmetn Act Data." Journal of Rural and Community Development 13(1): 47-66.

Henderson, W. Matthew, F. Carson Mencken and Brittany Fitz. 2017. “Judgmental God Image, Social Embeddedness, and Social Trust Among the Highly Religious in the United States.” Journal of Contemporary Religion 32: 1-14.

Joseph O. Baker, Christopher D. Bader, F. Carson Mencken. 2016. "A Bounded Affinity Theory of Religion and the Paranormal." Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review 77: 334-358.

F. Carson Mencken and Charles Tolbert. 2016.  “Restructuring of the Financial Industry and Implications for Sources of Start-Up Capital for New Businesses in Nonmetropolitan Counties.” Journal of Rural Social Science 31(1): 71-82.

Relevant Track:  Community Analytics

Dr. Mencken's Full Curriculum Vitae.

Department of Sociology

Burleson Building
One Bear Place #97326
Waco, TX 76798-7326

(254) 710-1165