John Schmalzbauer  CV 

Professor and Blanche Gorman Strong Chair in Protestant Studies

Department of Religious Studies

Missouri State University

A sociologist by training, John Schmalzbauer focuses on religion and American higher education, religion in intellectual life, American evangelicalism, American Catholicism, mainline Protestantism, and religion in popular culture.

Schmalzbauer recently completed a book on the changing place of religion in American colleges and universities, together with historian Kathleen A. Mahoney. Published in 2018, The Resilience of Religion in American Higher Education (Baylor University Press) explores the growth of the academic study of religion, the revitalization of church-related colleges, and the diversification of student religious life.

Schmalzbauer is principal investigator on the Landscape Study of Chaplaincy and Campus Ministry in the United States, supported by a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. Between 2004 and 2008, he was co-investigator on the National Study of Campus Ministries, directed by Betty DeBerg. In 1999 and 2000 he served as co-investigator on an evaluation of Lilly Endowment's Religion and Higher Education Initiative, along with Kathleen A. Mahoney and James Youniss.

Schmalzbauer's first book, People of Faith: Religious Conviction in American Journalism and Higher Education (Cornell University Press), examines 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.

His reviews and commentary have appeared in Religion & Politics, Comment, Religion Dispatches, the Wall Street Journal, and Books & Culture. He has also contributed to the Evangelical Studies Bulletin, Sojourners, Patheos, Duke's Call & Response, the Immanent Frame, and the PBS NewsHour's Patchwork Nation.

In recent years, his courses have explored the varieties of Ozarks religion, local congregations, religion and media, and the sociology of religion. His Religion, Spirituality, and Health (REL 348) course is part of the Religious Studies Department's new emphasis on religion and the health professions.