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 2022 Annual Meeting will take place in San Diego, California from Friday, April 22 – to Monday, April 25, 2022. For information about the 2021 annual meeting visit the program meeting schedule to search for the Religion & Education SIG events scheduled from April 6–12, 2021.

Business Meeting & Awards Ceremony

Please see the agenda for the annual business meeting and awards ceremony scheduled for Sunday, April 11, 2021, at 2:30 pm Eastern. Please read the minutes from the meeting.

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. 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. 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), North Greenville University, Tigerville, SC

Dr. Shereen Bhalla, Secretary/Treasurer (5/1/21 – 4/30/22), Hindu American Foundation, Washington, DC

Dr. Allie Blosser, Executive Committee Member (5/1/21 – 4/30/22), High Point, NC

Dr. Gayle Pagnoni, Executive Committee Member (5/1/21 – 4/30/22), Rice University, Houston, TX


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. 


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

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