American Education Research Association
Religion and Education Special Interest Group (SIG)


Welcome to Religion and Education, a special interest group (SIG) of the American Education Research Association. According to Article IV. of the bylaws, the purposes of the Religion and Education are:

1. To provide an academic and research forum to present and discuss diverse issues relevant to religious education and the relationship between faith and educational outcomes;

2. To provide an academic and interdisciplinary research forum to present and discuss issues about the role religion has played, does play, and should play in the public and private school experience;

3. To encourage the presentation of high quality quantitative and/or qualitative research, as well as other types of academic interdisciplinary inquiry, into issues of religious education, personal faith and school-based and school-related academic and behavioral outcomes;

4. To promote the idea that people of faith and religious conviction should have “a place at the table” in terms of federal, state, and local education policy originating from the government, school, and all other policy-making forums;

5. To increase multicultural communication and understanding between people of different denominations and faiths; and

6. To provide a safe space for people of faith and all religion-related viewpoints to safely communicate their research results and perspectives on faith without fear of being disparaged because of their views.

Annual Meeting

Details about the 2021 American Educational Research Association can be found at

SIG Leadership

Dr. Nathan C. Walker, Chair (5/1/2020 – 4/30/2023), 1791 Delegates, Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Kate E. Soules, Assistant Chair/Chair-Elect (5/1/2020 – 4/30/2023), Massachusetts 3Rs Project, Boston, MA

Dr. Charles J. Russo, J.D., Program Chair (5/1/2020 – 4/30/2023), University of Dayton, Dayton, OH

Dr. P. Jesse Rine, Assistant Program Chair (5/1/2020 – 4/30/2023), Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA

Dr. Shereen Bhalla, Secretary/Treasurer (5/1/2020 – 4/30/2021), Hindu American Foundation, Washington, DC

Dr. Ilana Horwitz, Executive Committee Member (5/1/2020 – 4/30/2021), Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Dr. Gayle Pagnoni, Executive Committee Member (5/1/2020 – 4/30/2021), Rice University, Houston, TX

Chris Olshefki Graduate Student Representative (5/1/2020 – 4/30/2021), University of Pittsburgh
[email protected]​ 


In order to participate in our Special Interest Group (SIG) you will need to have (1) an active membership with the American Educational Research Association and (2) an active membership with SIG 84 Religion & Education. For directions on how to join both visit the AERA Membership page. Membership Dues: Non-Students: $10 and Students: $5.


Distinguished Scholar Award

  • 2019 – Michael D. Waggoner University of Northern Iowa
  • 2017 – Zehavit Gross Bar-Ilan University, Israel
  • 2015 – William H. Jeynes California State University, Long Beach
  • 2013 – Nicholas Piediscalzi Wright State University

Emerging Scholar Award

  • 2019 – Kevin J. Burke University of Georgia
  • 2017 – Matthew Mayhew New York University
  • 2015 – Alyssa Bryant Rockenbach North Carolina State University

Dissertation-of-the-Year Award

  • 2020 –  W. Y. Alice Chan, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, “Exploring a Potential Connection between Religious Bullying and Religious Literacy in Modesto and Montreal Public Schools”
  • 2018 – Kimberly Rebecca Logan, University of Georgia, “Unpacking Religious Understandings in Teachings: Christian Pre-Service Teachers’ Narratives of Calling, Love, and Relationships”
  • 2014 – Tiffani A. Riggers-Piehl, University of California, Los Angeles, “Enhancing Classrooms and Conversations: How Interactions with Faculty Predict Change in Students’ Spirituality in College”
  • 2012 – P. Jesse Rine, University of Virginia, “Pluralism, Provisionally, & Faith: Christian College Persistence in the Postmodern Turn”
  • 2008 – Jason Eric Nelson-Brown, University of Washington, “The Key of the Kingdom: How teacher beliefs about religion impact their experiences teaching”
  • 2006 – James M. M. Hartwick, University of Wisconsin-Madison, “An investigation into the spiritual, religious, and prayer lives of Wisconsin public school teachers: The inner life of the teacher”

Members' Accomplishments

Share you professional accomplishments with the SIG by completing the annual survey. Share information about the awards you’ve received; post invitations to collaborate; share about your organization’s developments; list funding awards or fundraising efforts; list new appointments/positions; share information about your professional presentations; and share news about your publications and teaching accomplishments.



Get Involved

Publishing Opportunities invites SIG members to contribute a dynamic list of publishing opportunities.

Funding Opportunities invites SIG members to contribute a list of funding opportunities.

A Living Bibliography invites SIG members to contribute to a living bibliography to help emerging and established scholars share research resources. 

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