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. 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

Please visit the program meeting schedule to search for the Religion & Education SIG events scheduled from April 6–12, 2021.

Business Meeting & Awards Ceremony

Please join us for the annual business meeting and awards ceremony scheduled for Sunday, April 11, 2021, at 2:30 pm Eastern.

Members' Accomplishments

Special thanks to the friends and members of the Religion & Education SIG for registering their accomplishments in our annual survey. Please read them in the April 11, 2021 Newsletter (Members’ Accomplishments 2019–2021).

SIG Leadership

Dr. Nathan C. Walker, Chair (5/1/20 – 4/30/23), 1791 Delegates, Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Kate E. Soules, Assistant Chair/Chair-Elect (5/1/20 – 4/30/23), Religion & Education Collaborative, Boston, MA

Dr. Charles J. Russo, J.D., Program Chair (5/1/20 – 4/30/23), University of Dayton, Dayton, OH

Dr. P. Jesse Rine, Assistant Program Chair (5/1/20 – 4/30/23), Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA

Dr. Shereen Bhalla, Secretary/Treasurer (5/1/20 – 4/30/21), Hindu American Foundation, Washington, DC

Dr. Ilana Horwitz, Executive Committee Member (5/1/20 – 4/30/21), Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Dr. Gayle Pagnoni, Executive Committee Member (5/1/20 – 4/30/21), Rice University, Houston, TX

Chris Olshefki Graduate Student Representative (5/1/20 – 4/30/21), University of Pittsburgh, PA


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

  • 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. 

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