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College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Christopher Ellison, Ph.D.

Dean's Distinguished Professor
Department of Sociology

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: (210) 458-6241
Office: MS 4.02.44

Research area: The implications of religiousness and spirituality for mental and physical health and mortality risk

  • Biography

    Christopher Ellison received his A.B. degree in Religion (1982) and his Ph.D in Sociology (1991), both from Duke University. He was on the faculty at UT-Austin for 19 years prior to relocating to UTSA in 2010. He has published two co-edited books and approximately 175 peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals and book chapters. These publications have appeared in each of the leading journals in sociology, as well as other prominent specialty journals in public health, medical sociology, religious studies, family studies, political science, and other fields. He has been the recipient of approximately $3.5 million in external grants from a wide range of public agencies and private foundations. In 2004, Dr. Ellison has been on the prestigious list of Highly Cited Scholars in the Social Sciences by the Institute for Scientific Information. Over the years he has been elected to several prominent positions in professional organizations, including the Chair of the Sociology of Religion section of the American Sociological Association, the President-elect of the Association for the Sociology of Religion, and the Vice-President of the Southern Sociological Society, among others. He has also served in numerous elected and appointed roles in multiple academic organizations and societies, and on the editorial boards of numerous scholarly journals.

  • Recent Courses


    • SOC 3093 Religion and Society
    • SOC 3043 Race and Ethnic Relations


    • SOC 6143 Sociology of Religion
    • SOC 6903 Social Psychology of Health and Illness
    • SOC 6903 Getting Published in Sociology
  • Research in Progress

    Dr Ellison's major areas of research include:

    • The implications of religiousness and spirituality for mental and physical health and mortality risk.
    • Religious variations in quality and duration of intimate relationships.
    • The role of religion – especially conservative forms of Protestantism – in shaping parental child-rearing values and child discipline, as well as the outcomes for children.
    • The role of religious beliefs, practices, and institutions in the lives of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States.
    • A range of issues in public opinion, especially attitudes concerning race, ethnicity, and immigration in the US.
  • Recent Publications

    • Ellison, Christopher G., Nicholas H. Wolfinger, and Aida Ramos-Wada. 2013. Attitudes Toward Marriage, Divorce, Cohabitation, and Casual Sex among Working-age Latinos: Does Religion Matter? Journal of Family Issues 34: 295-322.
    • Ellison, Christopher G., Matt Bradshaw, Nilay Kuyel, and John P. Marcum. 2012. Attachment to God, Stressful Life Events, and Changes in Psychological Distress. Review of Religious Research 53: 493-511.
    • Ellison, Christopher G., and Amy M. Burdette. 2012. Religion and the Sense of Control among U.S. Adults. Sociology of Religion 73: 1-22.
    • Ellison, Christopher G., Marc A. Musick, and George W. Holden. 2011. Does Conservative Protestantism Moderate the Association between Corporal Punishment and Child Outcomes? Journal of Marriage and Family 73: 946-961.
    • Ellison, Christopher G.., Heeju Shin, and David L. Leal. 2011. The Contact Hypothesis and Attitudes toward Latinos in the United States. Social Science Quarterly 92: 938-958.
    • Ellison, Christopher G., Anthony Walker, Norval D. Glenn, and Elizabeth Marquardt. 2011. The Effects of Parental Marital Discord and Parental Divorce on the Religious and Spiritual Lives of Young Adults. Social Science Research 40: 538-551.
    • Ellison, Christopher G., and Robert A. Hummer, eds. 2010. Religion, Families, and Health: Population-based Research in the United States. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
    • Ellison, Christopher G., Amy M. Burdette, and W. Bradford Wilcox. 2010. `The Couple that Prays Together': Race, Ethnicity, Couples' Religious Involvement, and Relationship Quality among Working-age Adults. Journal of Marriage and Family 72: 963-975.