Religion and Society

Religionand Society

Drew Student Protest at Barbershop, Madison, New Jersey, Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Drew University Library

Meet the Faculty


Name Focus Education Contact
west Traci C. West

James W. Pearsall Professor of Christian Ethics and African American Studies

Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary
M.Div., Pacific School of Religion
B.A., Yale University

Seminary Hall 203
Personal site

son Angella M. Pak Son

Associate Professor of Psychology and Religion

Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary
B.S.B., University of Minnesota

Seminary Hall 25
Personal site

ott Kate M. Ott

Assistant Professor of Christian Social Ethics | University Scholar in Everyday Ethics

Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary
M.A.R., Yale University
B.A., University of Wisconsin, Madison

Seminary Hall 28
Personal site

kearns Laurel Kearns

Associate Professor of the Sociology of Religion and Environmental Studies

M.A., Ph.D., Emory University
B.A., Florida State University

Seminary Hall 108
Personal site

pressley Arthur Pressley

Associate Professor of Psychology and Religion

Ph.D., Northwestern University
M.Div., Garrett-Evangelical Seminary
B.A., Allegheny College

Seminary Hall 208
Personal site

bennet Tanya Linn Bennett

Associate Dean for Vocation and Formation | Associate Professor in the Practice of Public Theology and Vocation

M.Div., M.Phil., Ph.D., Drew University
B.A., Allegheny College

Seminary Hall 107

ortega Elìas Ortega-Aponte

Assistant Professor of Afro-Latina/o Religions and Cultural Studies

M.Div., Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary
B.A., Calvin College

12 Campus Drive
Personal site

Kwang Yu Lee
Student, Religion and Society
“I came from South Korea in 2007 to pursue an M.Div. at Drew and, to my surprise, I am still here. My professors opened new doors to the “not-taken” ways and now I am interested in an analysis of Korea as a collective psyche in the history of humankind. Drew – where theology, psychology, sociology, biblical studies, and historical studies intersect one another – is one of the best places is to explore this interest.”

Leah Thomas
Student, Religion and Society
“After earning my Masters of Divinity from the University of Notre Dame, I worked for a Catholic non-profit organization creating faith-sharing resources for college students and went on to serve as a chaplain at a psychiatric hospital. These diverse professional experiences inspired me pursue a PhD. I am now pursuing an interdisciplinary study of the psychology of religion and Christian social ethics focused on systemic and pastoral issues pertaining to women with mental disorders.”

Graduation Requirements for Religion and Society

Religion & Society

The Religion and Society area focuses on the role of religion and Christianities in relation to structures of oppression, struggles for liberation, and the restoration of wholeness for individuals and communities. This approach to the study of religion and society attends to intertwinepublic and private dimensions as well as implications for the natural environment.The diverse academic training and research interests of the faculty encompass cultural studies, psychoanalytic theory, sociology, Christian social ethics, religion and ecology, pastoral theology, liberative and feminist/womanist theologies, Latino/a religions, and Africana diasporic studies.They share the understanding that theory should respond to human experience and that academic scholarship must incorporate a concern with praxis. Students in the program work at the intersections of at least two of the following emphases: Psychology of Religion, Christian Social Ethics, Social Theory and Justice Studies, Ecology, Race/Ethnicity, Gender/Sexuality.

Language Requirements

Two of the following: French, German, Portuguese, or Spanish. International students whose native language is other than English may use English as their second research language. They must, however, pass French, German, Portuguese, or Spanish before they take their second year of classes.

If another language is deemed relevant to the student's program, the student may petition for a substitution, which requires the recommendation of the student's area and the approval of the Committee on Academic Standing. This approval is contingent upon the availability of appropriate testing and grading resources.