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Directory Page Title

Kathleen Jenkins


Office: Boswell Hall 230
Email: [[kejenk]]
Website: {{}}
Research Areas: Religion and Family, Therapeutic Culture, Sociology of Pilgrimage, New Religious Movements
Office Hours: On leave Fall 2023


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

Areas of Specialization

Sociology of the family, religion, pilgrimage & therapeutic

Honors and Awards

2020 W&M Arts & Sciences Award for Faculty Governance
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, pilgrimage, families, and the relationship between therapeutic culture and religion. Professor Jenkins regularly teaches Social Theory, Qualitative Methods, Sociology of Religion, and Families and Kinship. She is the Co-Director of the Institute for Pilgrimage Studies at W&M


Professor Jenkins’ most recent ethnography, Walking the Way Together: How Families Connect on the Camino de Santiago, Spring/Summer 2021), addresses parents and their young adult children who walk the Camino de Santiago together in northwest Spain. 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 first ethnography, Awesome Families: the Promise of Healing Relationships in the International Churches of Christ, was published with Rutgers University Press in 2005.  Jenkins has published articles in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Teaching Sociology, Qualitative Sociology and Social Forces