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News : Religion Experts

Religion Experts

University of Dayton scholars are available for interviews on Catholic and religious topics. The world's media turned to many of them for insight on the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and transition to Pope Francis. 

Contact Associate Director of News and Communications Meagan Pant at, 937-229-3256 (office) or 937-212-2979 (cell), or email

UD's broadband studio for television interviews via Zoom, Skype, Lifesize or FaceTime is no cost to news outlets. It features a 4K UHD camera; upload/download speeds up to 100 mbps; LED lighting; lavalier mic; and IFB connection. For satellite interviews, the University usually works through ThinkTV.

Historical Perspective, Women in the Church, Sex Abuse Crisis

Sandra Yocum, associate professor, religious studies
Profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact 

Yocum, past-president of the College Theology Society, is a well-known writer and lecturer nationally on U.S. Catholic life and thought. Her research interests include U.S. Catholic history, women in the Church, and the Catholic sex abuse crisis. She has published articles in encyclopedias and several journals including Theological Studies, Horizons, Church History, U.S. Catholic Historian. She co-edited American Catholic Traditions: Resources for Renewal with William Portier. Media hits include Women Strive For Larger Roles in Male-Dominated Religions by the Associated Press.

Catholic Social Teaching, Politics and Culture

Vincent Miller, Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture
Profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact 

Miller is an expert on religion and politics; religion and consumer culture; the U.S. Catholic Church's involvement in politics and public policy; social justice and public policy; and the moral consequences of budgetary policies. He wrote Consuming Religion: Christian Faith and Practice in a Consumer Culture and edited The Theological and Ecological Vision of Laudato Si': Everything is Connected. Formerly of Georgetown University, Miller has been widely sought for his comments on the global financial crisis, Catholic social teaching and the federal budget's impact on the poor. Media hits include an interview with Bill O'Reilly.

Theology, Church History, Vatican II, Pope and Papacy

Dennis Doyle, professor, religious studies
Profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact 

Doyle is an internationally respected Catholic theologian. He is frequently sought for his commentary on a wide range of Catholic issues. He's author of The Catholic Church in a Changing World: A Vatican-II Inspired Approach, which seeks to understand the Church, faith and religion within the context of people's lives. Media hits include Catholic Board Seeks Parishioner-Led Abuse Investigation by the Associated Press.

Black Catholic Nuns, Black Freedom Movement

Shannen Dee Williams, associate professor, history
Profile | Media hits | PR contact 

A historian of the African American experience with research and teaching specializations in women’s, religious, and Black freedom movement history, Williams is the author of the book, Subversive Habits: Black Catholic Nuns in the Long African American Freedom Struggle. She is a member of the executive council of the American Catholic Historical Association. Media hits include Shedding light on one of the church’s darkest chapters in Catholic News Service.

Race and Religion

Joseph Flipper, Mary Ann Spearin Endowed Chair in Catholic Theology
Profile | Media hits | PR contact

Flipper is a nationally recognized scholar of Black Catholicism in America, race and religion, and 20th-century Catholic theology. He has been awarded Fulbright and Ford Foundation fellowships. He is the author of Between Apocalypse and Eschaton: History and Eternity in Henri de Lubac. Media hits include Breonna Taylor lived and died in a part of the U.S. where rights do not matter in America.

Latino Theology/Latina Theology

Neomi DeAnda, associate professor, religious studies
Profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact 

DeAnda's research interests include Latina and Latino theology; theology and breast milk; and the Intersection of race and migrations. She is developing a border theology in partnership with the Hope Border Institute. She is president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States. She's author of the forthcoming book, A Theology of Breast Milk: A Latina Perspective, for which she received the Louisville Institute First Book Grant for Minority Scholars. She is fluent in Spanish. Media hits include Pope Francis Once Again Encourages Mothers To Breastfeed In The Sistine Chapel by NPR.

African American Catholic History

Cecilia Moore, associate professor, religious studies
Profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact 

Moore also is the associate director of the degree program for the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana. She is working on the history of black conversion to Roman Catholicism in the 20th century. Media hits include Pope Francis Inspires Black Catholics, Despite Complicated Church History On Race on NPR.

Theology and Social Media

Jana Bennett, associate professor and chair, religious studies
Profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact 

Bennett is a moral theologian with a wide range of research interests and well-regarded publications, including her latest book, Singleness and the Church: A New Theology of the Single Life. She gives public lectures on marriage and sexuality, Christian asceticism, technology use, war and peace, and environmental care. She's an editor of the blog Catholic Moral Theology. Media hits include Being Catholic Online — Problems and Possibilities with the Catholic News Service.

Catholic Identity

Daniel Thompson, associate professor, religious studies
Profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact 

Thompson has written about Catholic identity and the Catholic intellectual tradition. His research and writings have focused on the challenge of dissent with church authority and how faith communities stay together in the face of change. Media hits include Donald Trump, Pope Francis Meet with KCBS-AM San Francisco.

Afterlife, Christian Origins

Meghan Henning, associate professor, religious studies
Profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact 

Henning specializes in New Testament and early Christianity. She's the author of Hell Hath No Fury: Gender, Disability, and the Invention of Damned Bodies in Early Christian Literature and Educating Early Christians through the Rhetoric of Hell, as well as numerous articles, essays and invited papers on Hell, the New Testament, apocalyptic literature, apocryphal literature, ancient rhetoric, disability studies, and pedagogy. Media hits include How threats of hellfire helped keep ‘immodest’ women in their place in The Conversation.

Christian Right

Bill Trollinger, history professor
Profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact

Trollinger has written extensively on American evangelicalism and fundamentalism, Protestant print culture, history of the Second KKK, and the death penalty in the U.S. He’s co-author of Righting America at the Creation Museum, which evaluates the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter as a Christian Right sites; author of a book chapter, “Empty Churches: Non-Affiliation in America,” which explores how the Christian Right has driven many Americans (particularly, young Americans) to disaffiliate from religion altogether; and many other works. Media hits include Fundamentalism turns 100, a landmark for the Christian Right and (co-authored) At the evangelical Creation Museum, dinosaurs lived alongside humans in The Conversation.

Sacramental Theology and U.S. Catholicism

Timothy Gabrielli, Gudorf Chair in Catholic intellectual traditions
Profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact

Gabrielli works in Catholic history and theology, with a specialty in the modern history of Catholic sacramental theology, particularly in the U.S. context. He is author of Confirmation: How a Sacrament of God’s Grace Became All About Us on Confirmation in the 20th century United States; One in Christ: Virgil Michel, Louis-Marie Chauvet, and Mystical Body Theology; and co-editor of Weaving the American Catholic Tapestry. Media hits include Why Communion matters in Catholic life – and what it means to be denied the Eucharist in The Conversation.