Resources for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and Religion

Interested in pursuing coursework and research on religion, race, and ethnicity?  The following pages offer information and opportunities for both within the Divinity School and in the wider University of Chicago community – in our Centers, workshops and student organizations, libraries, and of course through classwork and faculty members.


“The nature of questions being asked and the perspectives being engaged are often a function of the diversity of experiences and outlooks of those participating.  Diversity for the University is therefore particularly germane to our core perspective.  We must ensure that our scholarly community is composed of a rich mixture of individuals who, through their own distinctive viewpoints, contribute to the intellectually challenging culture of the University… The first doctorate earned by a black woman in the United States was awarded in 1921 at the University of Chicago.  We were among the first major non-historically black universities to tenure a black faculty member.”

Official Diversity Statement of Robert J. Zimmer, President, University of Chicago.


Professor Curtis J. EvansAssociate Professor of the History of Christianity and Religions in America

Professor Evans is a historian of American Religions. His research interests include modern American religion, race and religion in US history, and Slavery and Christianity. His research emphases are interpretations and cultural images of African American religion and historical examinations of religion as a force for and obstacle to social and political reform. Add Burden of Black Religion and subject of second book Professor Evans’ research has also appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Church History, Journal of Southern Religion, and Religion and American Culture


Professor Dwight N. HopkinsProfessor of Theology 

Professor Hopkins is a constructive theologian with research interests in contemporary models of theology, black theologies, liberation theologies, and East-West cross-cultural comparisons. He also has a particular interest in multi-disciplinary approaches to the academic study of religious thought. Some of his many books include: The Cambridge Companion to Black Theology; Being Human: race, culture, and religion; Shoes That Fit Our Feet: Sources for a constructive Black Theology; Changing Conversations: Religious Reflections and Cultural Analysis; Liberation Theologies, Postmodernity and the Americas; Religions/Globalizations: Theories and Cases; Down, Up and Over: Slave Religion and Black Theology; Introducing Black Theology of Liberation; and Another World is Possible: Spiritualities and Religion of Global Darker Peoples. Professor Hopkins is also an ordained American Baptist minister.


McRoberts.jpgProfessor Omar M. McRobertsAssociate Professor in the Department of Sociology and the College

Professor McRoberts received the 2005 Distinguished Book Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, for his first book, Streets of Glory: Church and Community in a Black Urban Neighborhood. His research interests include the sociology of religion, urban sociology, urban poverty, race, and collective action. 




Faculty in the Committee on African and African American Studies

Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture (CSRPC) is an interdisciplinary program dedicated to promoting engaged scholarship and debate around the topics of race and ethnicity. 

The Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture developd a multidisciplinary approach to the study of American culture. This is accomplished in part by a series of discussions, seminars and courses. The center engages academics from the Divinity School, the Law School, and from many disciplines throughout the University. 

UChicago students interested in African and African-American Studies can pursue a course of study either as a major or minor concentration. 

The Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) is a Chicago-based membership association of libraries, universities, and other archival institutions. Its mission is to make broadly accessible its members’ holdings of materials that document African American and African diasporic culture, history, and politics, with a specific focus on materials relating to Chicago. The University of Chicago serves as the current host institution of the BMRC and is the BMRC’s fiscal agent.



In addition to classroom instruction, The Divinity School at The University of Chicago cultivates intellectual growth via specialized forums and workshops. Many of these workshops provide students the opportunity to publicly present their ideas and gain critical feedback. We also off organizations for students to gather and learn from one another while fostering a collegial atmosphere.

The Reproduction of Race and Racial Ideologies is supported by the Council on Advanced Studies and  The Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture (CSRPC)

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) serves and advocates for African American, Asian American, Latina/o, Native American and Multiracial students in the College, professional and graduate divisions.

At the Dinity School, clubs and workshops, organized around formal areas of academic study as well as student interests, form an important part of daily life in Swift Hall. Current clubs include:

Alchemy in Color

Alchemy in Color is a network seeking to serve and support underrepresented minority students at the Divinity School. Founded in the Spring of 2012, Alchemy seeks to enrich the social, intellectual, and spiritual lives of students, and offers a platform for events, discussion, gatherings, and fun. While Alchemy in Color is a group dedicated to ethnic and religious minorities at the Divinity School, Alchemy seeks to involve as much of the Divinity School community (students, staff, faculty) as possible in its mission to help make the University of Chicago an hospitable and warm place for students to work, play, and live. Recent Alchemy events include the winter dance party co-sponsored with the DSA, a three-part dinner and discussion series, and the start of a community service initiative. For more information, please contact

The Divinity School Women’s Caucus (DSWC)

The Women’s Caucus is sponsored by the Divinity Students Association (DSA). Women's Caucus members at large span the Divinity School’s 12 sub-fields and 4 degree programs. The vision of the Women’s Caucus is to make the Divinity School the community of choice for female scholars of religion. Goals fall into three major categories: professionalization, mentoring, and advocacy. With those goals in mind, events (weekly tea times, discussion groups, and panels) are structured, among other things, to help members feel more at home in the classroom or on the job market, build relationship with other students and to learn how to interact comfortably with faculty and administration. For more information, contact the Women’s Caucus at , or visit DSWC online at

Phoenix Garden

The Phoenix Garden serves as creative space for the nurturing and development of the next wave of Womanist Scholars at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Primarily for female students who have Diasporic ties to Africa and experience socio-political intersectionality, this group seeks to present voices from the margin and resurrect voices from culture as we celebrate and promote academic excellence, cultural, community, spiritual, and social cognizance and activism. To learn more, contact  Lori Taylor , Renita Ward , or Teisha Cassel

We offer over 100 courses every year on the academic study of religion. Please see current course offerings for more.
  • Theology and American Slavery
  • Black Theology and Womanist Theology
  • Theology from the Third World
  •  James H. Cone: His Theological Challenge
  • Martin & Malcolm: Lives and Beliefs
  • Race & Theology
  • African Philosophy
  • Christianity and Slavery in America 1619-1865
  • African American Religion in the 20th Century
  • Race and Religion in the U.S. in the 20th Century
  • The Long 1960s: Religion and Social Change
  • Power, Identity and Resistance
  • Graduate Ethnographic Methods
  • Urban Structure and Process
  • Religion and the City
  • Power, Identity, and Resistance
  • Music of the Caribbean
  • African American Gospel Music
  • Seminar: Music and Faith
  • Seminar: Music and Creolization
  • Introduction to the Social and Cultural Study of Music
  • Race, Gender, and African American Religions