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Person, Community, and Religious Life

Course of Study Description

The Person, Community, and Religious Life (PCRL) Course of Study provides opportunities to explore basic questions of religious practice that occur at the intersection of religious and social science studies of persons, communities, and cultural systems.  This broad scope of inquiry encourages work in such areas as human development, education, sociology, psychology and sociology of religion, homiletics, pastoral counseling, practical theology, spirituality, congregational studies, and other areas of research.  Students draw on faculty scholarship in the above fields, and are encouraged to do interdisciplinary work in the other areas of the GDR and across the university.

PCRL students may take advantage of Emory's many rich and varied educational and research resources, including the Carter Center, the Georgia Association for Pastoral Care (a counseling center), the Center for Ethics, the Emory Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Religion, and the Emory Center for Myth and Ritual in American Life.

Because of the breadth of the PCRL Course of Study and the rich variety of course offerings available, students work with faculty to craft their studies around their own intellectual and vocational goals.

Preliminary Examinations

Please consult with the chair of the Course of Study for more information.

Special Requirements

Please consult with the chair of the Course of Study for more information.

Selected Courses

Please consult with the chair of the Course of Study for more information.

Recent Dissertations

Recent dissertation and placement information:


Claire Bischoff, “Image is Everything…” Placement: Lexington Theological Seminary

Anne Hardison Moody, "WHEN RELIGION MATTERS: A Practical Theological Engagement of Liberian Women's Narratives and Practices of Healing Post-Conflict" Placement: Project Manager North Carolina State

Heejung Kwon, "Toward a Theological Anthropology of Resistance: Korean American Women‘s Ambivalent Subjectivity, "Third Space" and Religious Education"


Haemin Lee, “International Development and Public Religion: Changing Dynamics of Christian Mission in South Korea” Placement: International Evangelism at Presbyterian Church Headquarters

Hellena Moon,“Transforming the Paradigm of Wo/men’s Human Rights through Intercultural Pastoral Care: Narratives of Vulnerability & Contradictions in Korean Wo/men’s lives in the Colonial and Postcolonial Period,”

Jeremy Posadas, "The Body of Christ Worships in the Era of Biopower: Towards a Liturgical Somatics" Placement: Austin College


Carolyn Browning Helsel, “The Hermeneutics of Recognition: A Ricoeurian Interpretive Framework for Whites Preaching About Racism.” 

Jay-Paul Michael Hinds, Placement: Howard Divinity School

Jacob Myers

Shaping scholars Reshaping institutions