Religion & Education American Education Religious Association

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

SIG Sessions at 2023 Annual Meeting

Confirm times and locations in AERA program as there may be additional changes.

SIG EventTitleDate / Time (CDT)Location
Roundtable SessionIncreasing and Decreasing Religious Commitments in Higher EducationApril 13th, 4:40pmFairmont Chicago Millennium Park, Floor: B2 Level, Imperial Ballroom
Paper SessionDoing and Being: Religious Experiences in SchoolsApril 14th, 8:00amSwissôtel Chicago, Floor: Event Centre, 1st Floor, St. Gallen 1
Roundtable SessionIntegrating and Negotiating Religious Identities and Values in the ClassroomApril 14th, 9:50amFairmont Chicago Millennium Park, Floor: B2 Level, Imperial Ballroom
Roundtable SessionParental Influences and Perspectives on Religion and SchoolingApril 14th, 9:50amFairmont Chicago Millennium Park, Floor: B2 Level, Imperial Ballroom
Roundtable SessionTensions and Dangers: Uncovering Christian Privilege and Christian Nationalism in SchoolsApril 15th, 9:50amSwissôtel Chicago, Floor: Event Centre, 1st Floor, St. Gallen 1
Paper SessionReligious Engagement and Interactions in Higher EducationApril 15th, 9:50amSwissôtel Chicago, Floor: Event Centre, 1st Floor, St. Gallen 1
SIG Business MeetingApril 15th, 11:40amSwissôtel Chicago, Floor: Event Centre, 1st Floor, Zurich A
Paper SessionReading Religiously: Representation of Religious Identities and Literacies in LiteratureApril 15th, 2:50pmSwissôtel Chicago, Floor: Event Centre, 1st Floor, Vevey 4
Working Group RoundtableThe Sustainability of Private Faith-Based SchoolsApril 16th, 2:50pmSwissôtel Chicago, Floor: Event Centre, 1st Floor, Zurich G
Virtual Poster SessionThe Religion Course in the Chilean Public School System: An Educational Good for All?May 4th, 8:00amVirtual
Virtual SymposiumToward Fuller Expressions of Knowledge, Being, and Truth in Rethinking Islamic EducationMay 5th, 9:45amVirtual


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.


The most recently revised bylaws were approved by AERA July 2021. Read the current bylaws here.

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)

Distinguished Achievement Award

  • 2023 – Shafiqa Ahmadi, University of Southern California Rossier School of Education
  • 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

  • 2023 – Amanda L. Townley, Georgia Southern University
  • 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”

Previous Years' Newsletters

SIG Leadership


Dr. Elizabeth Pope, Chair (5/1/23 – 4/30/25) — University of West Georgia, Carrolton, GA

Dr. Kevin Burke, Assistant Chair/Chair-Elect (5/1/23-4/30/25) — University of Georgia, Athens, GA

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

Dr. Sachi Edwards Assistant Program Chair (5/1/23-4/30/24) 

Dr. Vicki Scullion, Secretary/Treasurer (5/1/23-4/30/24)

Dr. Mona M. Abo-Zena, Executive Committee Member (5/1/23 – 4/30/24) — UMass Boston, Boston, MA

Dr. John Shekitka, Executive Committee Member (5/1/23 – 4/30/24) — Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY

Dr. Kate E. Soules, Immediate Past Chair (5/1/23 – 4/30/25) — Religion & Education Collaborative, Boston, MA

Luke Walden, Graduate Student Representative (5/1/22 – 4/30/22) — University of Memphis, Memphis, TN

Get Involved

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

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.