Director's Welcome

The GDR enjoys a rich relationship with the wider Emory University community through the interdisciplinary work at the center of our common life. The study of religion lies at the heart of Emory’s signature commitment to be an exemplary community of moral inquiry and social responsibility. GDR students and faculty have been participants in projects partnering academics and community leaders through the research, educational and leadership activities of the Emory Center for Ethics. No student in the GDR graduates without substantial work completed outside his or her course of study, and it is the rare GDR student who graduates without substantive work elsewhere in Emory University. Dissertation committees regularly include faculty from outside the GDR.

The GDR embraces a diversity of persons and intellectual perspectives. Our faculty and students represent a remarkable range of approaches to the study of religion. Located in the vibrant context of Atlanta, the GDR offers a variety of research and learning possibilities. Faculty and students have fanned out into the city to study Hindu temples, Islamic mosques, African American megachurches, Buddhist sanghas, and multiracial and multiethnic Christian congregations. Our research orientation reflects the shared view that religion is one of our most intriguing and enduring prisms into the central truths of human existence.

By maintaining a distinguished, world-renowned faculty, Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion seeks to educate the next generation of religion and theology professors, who will become leading scholars in their respective fields. This mission is shaped by four core values: the enduring power of religious cultures, scholarly creativity, interdisciplinarity, and diversity. It is carried out within a distinctive intellectual ethos that shapes the educational experience of Emory doctoral students in religion.

Thank you for your interest in the GDR.

Ellen Ott Marshall and Jim Hoesterey