John Schmalzbauer

Blanche Gorman Strong Chair in Protestant Studies               

Department of Religious Studies

Missouri State University



In recent years, my courses at Missouri State have explored the varieties of Ozarks religion. Dubbed an "evangelical epicenter," the Ozarks region is home to the Assemblies of God and Wal-Mart. At the crossroads of American

culture, it is also the birthplace of Langston Hughes, Thomas Hart Benton,

Route 66, the Kewpie doll, and cashew chicken.

My research focuses on religion in popular culture, American evangelicalism, American Catholicism, religious intellectual life, and religion in higher education. My book People of Faith: Religious Conviction in American Journalism and Higher Education (Cornell University Press) explores the role of religion in the careers of 40 prominent journalists and academics, including Cokie Roberts, Peter Steinfels, Kenneth Woodward, E.J. Dionne, Fred Barnes, Mary McGrory, John DiIulio, Andrew Greeley, George Marsden, and Mark Noll.

I'm currently completing a book on the comeback of religion on campus, together with historian Kathleen Mahoney. This project explores the growth of the academic study of religion, the revitalization of church-related colleges, and the campus religious marketplace. I'm also co-investigator on the National Study of Campus Ministries.

My reviews and commentary have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Books and Culture, Comment, and the Evangelical Studies Bulletin. I've also contributed to the Immanent Frame, Sojourners, Duke's Call & Response, the PBS NewsHour's Patchwork Nation, and Patheos.

I live in Nixa, Missouri with my spouse Susan and three boys. I came to Missouri State after six enjoyable years at Holy Cross. A native of Minnesota, I am glad to be back in the Midwest.