Kathleen  Jenkins

Co-Director Institute for Pilgrimage Studies; Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology

Office: Morton Hall 230
Email: [[kejenk]]
Phone: 757-221-2605
Research Areas: Religion and Family, Therapeutic Culture, Sociology of Pilgrimage, New Religious Movements
Office Hours: Fall:


B.A. and M.A. in Religious Studies, Brown University
Ph.D. in Sociology, Brandeis University

Areas of Specialization

Sociology of the family, religion, gender, social theory

Honors and Awards

2015 Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence
Alumni Fellowship Award, 2010


Kathleen Jenkins came to W&M in 2005 from four years of teaching in the sociology department at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her main areas of interests are sociology of religion and sociology of families; in particular, the rise of contemporary new religious movements and the relationship between therapeutic culture and religion. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Brandeis University and her BA/MA in religious studies from Brown University.


Her first book, Awesome Families: the Promise of Healing Relationships in the International Churches of Christ, was published with Rutgers University Press in 2005. Kathleen was chosen in 2006 as an Engaged Scholar Fellow with the Congregational Studies Team, a program funded by the Lilly Endowment, for her work on divorce in religious communities. Her second book, Sacred Divorce: Religion, Therapeutic Culture, and Ending Life Partnerships, was published in 2014 with Rutgers University Press - Sacred Divorce: Religion, Therapeutic Culture, and Ending Life Partnerships. Her current research project explores Pilgrimage as family ritual. She has published in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion and Social Forces