Welcome to my academic website. I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science as well as the Graduate Coordinator at Eastern Illinois University. I teach in a variety of areas, including American institutions, political behavior, and research methods. My research focuses largely on the interaction of religiosity and political behavior (especially in the American context). Previously, I have completed an appointment as a post doctoral research fellow at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute in Carbondale, Illinois. While there I was an adviser on issues of survey methodology and polling, as well as providing data collection and analysis.
I have published over twenty articles in a number of well regarded peer reviewed journals including Politics & Religion, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, the Review of Religious Research, the Journal of Religious Leadership, Representation, Politics & Gender, Politics, Groups, and Identities, the Journal of Communication and Religion, the Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture and the Social Science Computer Review.
I am also the author of The Nones: Where They Came From, Who They Are, and Where They Are Going. In the book I detail a comprehensive picture of Americans who say they have no religious affiliation. I give readers a nuanced, accurate, and meaningful picture of the growing number of Americans who say that they have no religious affiliation. This book explains how this rise happened, who the nones are, and what they mean for the future of American religion.
My second book, 20 Myths About Religion and Politics in America, was released in March of 2022. Striving to be an impartial referee, I describes with accessible and engaging prose–and illustrate with dozens of clear, helpful graphs–what the data says. Step by step, I debunks twenty myths, using rigorous data analysis and straightforward explanations. I gives readers the resources to adopt an empirical view of the world that can help all of us, religious and nonreligious alike, get past at least some of the unsupported beliefs that divide us.
In addition, my research has been covered in a variety of media outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NBC, Vox, 538, BuzzFeed News, the Associated Press, Newsweek, Al-Jazeera, Reuters, Christianity Today, Religion News Service, The Daily Mail, Deseret News, World Magazine, Relevant, and C-SPAN. I am the co-founder and frequent contributor to Religion in Public, a forum for scholars of religion and politics to make their work accessible to a more general audience.
Finally, I am a pastor in the American Baptist Church, having served my current church for over fifteen years.