American Educational Research Association

Religion & Education Special Interest Group (SIG)

Welcome to Religion & Education, a special interest group (SIG) of the American Education Research Association. We hope the following information is helpful to you in being an informed and engaged member of our collegial association. 

Purpose of the SIG:

The purpose of the SIG is to report on, disseminate, and engage in academic dialogue about research on the intersections of education with divergent and emerging topics and issues involving religion, worldviews, and/or ethics. All types and levels of schooling, including but not limited to public, independent, faith-based, K-12 and/or higher education will be considered. The SIG encourages the presentation of high quality quantitative and/or qualitative research, as well as other types of academic interdisciplinary inquiry. The SIG welcomes a diversity of views, while not advocating specific positions regarding religion and education beyond respect for human dignity and respect for all persons.

Annual Meeting

The next Annual Meeting will be held in Chicago, IL, Thursday, April 13, 2023 – Sunday, April 16, 2023. The theme of the 2023 Annual Meeting is: “Interrogating Consequential Education Research in Pursuit of Truth”

SIG sessions from the 2022 Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA

Members' Accomplishments

Special thanks to the friends and members of the Religion & Education SIG for sharing their accomplishments in our annual survey. Please read them in the April 25, 2022 Newsletter (Member Census & Accomplishments, 2021-2022)

SIG Leadership

Dr. Kate E. Soules, Chair (5/1/21 – 4/30/23) — Religion & Education Collaborative, Boston, MA

Dr. Elizabeth Pope, Assistant Chair/Chair-Elect (6/15/21 – 4/30/23) — University of West Georgia, Carrolton, GA

Dr. Joshua Patterson, Program Chair (5/1/22 – 4/30/24) — SoundRocket, Athens, GA

Dr. Brett Bertucio, Secretary/Treasurer, (5/1/22 – 4/30/23) — Benedictine College, Atchinson, KS

Dr. Gayle Pagnoni, Executive Committee Member (5/1/22 – 4/30/23) — Rice University, Houston, TX

Dr. John Shekitka Executive Committee Member (5/1/22 – 4/30/23) — Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY



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

  • 2021 – Charles J. Russo, University of Dayton
  • 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

  • 2021 Kate E. Soules, Religion & Education Collaborative
  • 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

  • 2022 – Christopher Olshefski, University of Pittsburgh, “Functions of Religious Literacy in Literary Discussions of National Board-Certified English Teachers”
  • 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”


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. 


Revised bylaws were approved by AERA July 2021. Read the new bylaws here.

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