Dr. John A. Schmalzbauer


Religious Studies
Role: Faculty
Campus: Springfield

Postal mail

Missouri State University
Religious Studies
901 S. National Ave.
Springfield, MO 65897


Sociologist Dr. John Schmalzbauer teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at Missouri State University, where he holds the Blanche Gorman Strong Chair in Protestant Studies.

His teaching and research focuses on the role of Protestantism in American society. He is especially interested in the role of religion in popular culture, Protestant evangelicalism, American Catholicism and the place of religion in American higher education. In recent years, his courses have focused on religion in the Ozarks.

He is the author of People of Faith: Religious Conviction in American Journalism and Higher Education (Cornell University Press, 2003). He is completing a book on the return of religion on campus with historian Kathleen Mahoney.

He is also co-investigator on the National Study of Campus Ministries, a survey of campus ministers in six denominations and two parachurch groups. His commentary and reviews have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the PBS NewsHour's Patchwork Nation Project, and Comment.

His recent publications include chapters for The New Evangelical Social Engagement, edited by Brian Steensland and Philip Goff (Oxford, 2013) and The Post-Secular in Question, edited by John Torpey, David Kyuman Kim and Jonathan VanAntwerpen (NYU Press, 2012).



  • Ph.D. in Sociology, Princeton University, 1997
  • M.A. in Sociology, Princeton University, 1992 - Passed General Exams “With Distinction”
  • B.A. in Political Science, cum laude, Wheaton College,1990


  • Ozarks Religion
  • Religion in America
  • Religion in Society
  • Religion, Media, and Popular Culture
  • Basic Issues in Religion, Self, and Society
  • Congregations on the Ground: Exploring Local Religious Worlds

Research and professional interests

  • Religion and American culture
  • Evangelicalism
  • Religion in higher education
  • Popular Culture and religion
  • Campus ministry
  • Ozarks religion

Awards and honors

Recipient of subcontract on Lilly Endowment National Study of Campus Ministries grant ($123,000 between 2004 and 2007)

Areas of Expertise

Higher education administration Religions of the world

Media Appearances

Religion Thrives on College Campuses
KSMU Radio

Sociologist Dr. John Schmalzbauer addresses the question: Where does religion stand in the heart of American universities?

The Compatibility of Science and Religion
KSMU Radio

Sociologist Dr. John Schmaltzbauer discusses the compatibility of religion and science, particularly in an academic context.

Big Shots, Born Again
Wall Street Journal

Sociologist Dr. John Schmaltzbauer reviews "Faith in the Halls of Power," a look at the corporate and political rise of evangelicals.