Graduation Date: Spring 2001
Degree: Religious Studies and Psychology
Current Location: University
Memorial Union, University of Wisconsin, Madison (click
the image to visit their Department of Sociology's site)
See Shane's list
of key works in the sociology of religion.
I graduated with a Religious Studies and Psychology BA in
the Spring of 2001. Since then, I have earned my MA degree
from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. I got to learn
from a lot of great scholars in the field of Religious Studies
and completed a thesis entitled "Religious Scholars' and Quantitative
Researchers' Approaches to the Effects of Religiosity on the
Behavior of Intimate Partner Abuse Victims: Bridging the Gap."
(Long title, huh?). I have also had the opportunity to assist
in the teaching of two classes: Biological Anthropology and
The Evolution of Religion and Science.
Now, however, I am leaving the field of Religious Studies
to go the field of Sociology. I have been accepted into the
Ph.D program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the #1
Sociology program in the country. I still plan to study religion
by employing the methods of sociology, because, as many of
you have found, there is no one set of methods agreed on in
the study of religion. If I were to give any advice to you
majors who plan to go on to further study, whether it be for
the ministry or graduate study, it would be to start studying
foreign languages while you are in undergrad. If you are in
the ministry, start learning Hebrew, biblical Greek, Latin,
etc., if UA has them.
For those of you planning on graduate study, start learning
German and/or French. Religious Graduate programs are some
of the few programs that still require foreign language requirements.
I know that at Vanderbilt only the Religion and Philosophy
programs required a foreign language besides those where learning
another language is inherent, such as Anthropology. Trust
me, this will save you a lot of trouble. I look upon my time
in Religious Studies with great fondness. Two professors really
stand out in my memory of the department: Dr. William Doty
and Dr. Catherine Roach. Both of these professors believe
that I was capable of doing graduate work and showed me how
fun and enlightening the study of religion can be. If you
have a chance, take at least one course with each of these
professors (This can be hard, given that Dr. Doty is semi-retired.)
I know that the department has changed a great deal since
I have been there. However, I am sure that you majors will
still find the department to be a warm and friendly environment
where everyone's individual talents can be shaped and honed
so as to help them find a niche in the world, whether or not
it is associated with religion. Enjoy your time there!