Retooling Graduate Education in the Study of Religion


April 16, 2024
3:00 PM ET
Presented on Zoom



The number of doctoral graduates in the study of religion who decide on futures outside academia continues to rise, given the ongoing decline in the academic job market (one that is related to a variety of factors); but graduate programs tend to continue preparing students for careers as academic specialists.

This webinar focuses on the experiences of three doctoral graduates who have each established successful careers for themselves outside the tenure track, asking them to reflect on the ways in which graduate programs can enable their students’ achievements despite the current challenges facing higher education—from enacting curricular changes and developing a place for internships to reconsidering the shape taken by the dissertation and establishing routine ways of celebrating all of their alums’ successes.

This is part of an ongoing webinar series of the Academic Relations Committee (ARC), regularly offered throughout the year; all of these meetings address topics of direct relevance to the success of a department and are comprised of a 30-minute interview with the guest and then a 30-minute open Q&A for those attending. The interview portion of each webinar is recorded and posted on the ARC page on the AAR site.


Andrew Ali Aghapour | Aghapour (Ph.D. UNC 2017) works as a consulting scholar and managing editor for Religion for Breakfast, Crash Course, and the National Museum of American History.

Shannon Trosper Schorey | Schorey (Ph.D. UNC 2018) is a principal communications specialist in the tech industry as well as a freelance writer and editor of fiction and nonfiction.

Thomas Whitely | Whitely (Ph.D. Florida State 2016) works as the director of strategic innovation for the City of Tallahassee, Florida.


Russell T. McCutcheon | McCutcheon is a University Research Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama, where he was also a longtime Department Chair. He chairs the AAR’s Academic Relations Committee.