Contributing Authors:
WRSP is a collaborative academic project supported by scholars studying religion and spirituality, with special attention to alternative and emerging movements. The success of WRSP rests on the contributions of scholars working in this area of study who share their research knowledge with the broader academic community. Each WRSP profile is authored by a scholar whose work in the area is recognized as contributing to the scholarly academic enterprise. A biographical statement describing the work of each contributing author is published along with their WRSP profile. Collectively, these scholars have contributed in significant ways to both the development of the area of study and to the World Religions and Spirituality Project.

Senior Scholars:

The Scholars at Scholars Corner Project recognizes several sets of scholars who have contributed in significant ways to the development of the area of study and to the World Religions and Spirituality Project.  We recognize here Senior Scholars, Research Associates, and Research Assistants.

A number of scholars have made continuing contributions to WRSP a part of their scholarly agendas. These contributions have significantly strengthened the project; they have been appointed as Research Associates in WRSP. A number of younger, emerging scholars have worked with established WRSP contributors in the preparation of WRSP Profiles, and have been appointed as Research Assistants in WRSP.

Michael Ashcraft is Senior Editor for this project.


A number of religion scholars have contributed significantly to the development of alternative and emerging religion and spirituality as an area of study. The have shaped and continue to shape its contours and substance. The individuals appointed as WRSP Senior Scholars have played leading roles in the formation and development of the study of emerging and alternative religion and spirituality. Their work has also been foundational to WRSP.

Eileen V. Barker
J. Gordon Melton
Jeffrey K. Hadden [Forthcoming]
James T. Richardson [Forthcoming]
Thomas Robbins [Forthcoming]


WRSP Research Associates are actively contributing incorporated WRSP into their scholarship in various ways that have strengthened the project.

Shannon McRae
Susie C. Stanley
Ethan Doyle White


Several outstanding students have contributed to the development of WRSP. A number of undergraduate and beginning graduate students have assisted faculty in data gathering and profile drafting for WRSP in conjunction with their academic work. In some cases they appear as co-authors on profiles with faculty members.

Ms. Leah Hott (2012-2013)
Ms. Hott was an undergraduate Psychology major at Virginia Commonwealth University. An extraordinarily talented student, she participated in the preparation and authorship of a number of WRSP profiles:

Ms. Amanda Telefsen (2011-2012)|
Ms. Telefsen is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. She served as a Research Associate for WRSP during its early development period. She is co author of several WRSP profiles and worked extensively as an editor with contributing faculty authors.

Ms. Olivia Groff
Olivia Groff  was a graduate student in Religious Studies at the University of Kansas, focusing on religion in America. She holds a B.A. in Religious Studies and M.A.T. from Randolph College in Virginia. She worked as a research assistant, first with Timothy Miller at the University of Kansas and later with David Bromley at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is co-author of several WRSP profiles, including the Love Israel Family and Sojourners profiles.