We spoke recently to Erica Dollhopf, who joins us this fall for a post-doctoral position.
What brought you to Hartford Seminary?
In 2016 I earned my doctorate in sociology at Penn State University and had been working there as a senior research associate for the Association for Religion Data Archives (ARDA). When the opportunity for this post-doc became available, I thought it would be an excellent place to continue my research on religion and organizations while also teaching courses on this subject matter.
What led to your interest in working for the Seminary?
My educational background. During my graduate work, I studied religious non-profits and congregations, particularly the effect of leadership transitions within congregations. Completing a post-doc here was a natural fit based on my academic history and research interests.
As the Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion and Society, what course will you be teaching?
I will be teaching an online course in the fall, “Religion as a Social Phenomenon.” The class will provide an in-depth view of religion across many social contexts and explore topics including individual experiences of religion, religious leadership, religion and family, and religious institutions, among many others.
What do you hope student will learn from your class?
I would like the students to take from this class an appreciation for the diversity of religious expressions and the complex role that religion plays in society. I hope the theoretical and practical understanding they gain will give them a useful perspective that they can apply to their careers going forward.