Directory Page Title

Kathleen Jenkins

Professor and Chair

Office: Morton Hall 230
Email: [[kejenk]]
Research Areas: Religion and Family, Therapeutic Culture, Sociology of Pilgrimage, New Religious Movements


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. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Brandeis University and her BA/MA in religious studies from Brown University. Her main areas of interests are sociology of religion, sociology of families, and the relationship between therapeutic culture and religion. Professor Jenkins regularly teaches Social Theory, Qualitative Methods, Sociology of Religion, and Families and Kinship


Professor Jenkins’ ethnography, 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 ethnographic project explores Pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago as family ritual. She has published in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Teaching Sociology, and Social Forces. Kathleen is currently the Co-Director of the Institute for Pilgrimage Studies at the College of William and Mary