Dr. Todd W. Ferguson
Social Work, Sociology and Criminal Justice Department
I am a sociologist who specializes in religion, gender, organizations, and quantitative methodology. My research focuses on the social organization of religion, specifically congregations and their clergy. I am fascinated with the fact that religions are more than ideas and beliefs. They create structures and communities that profoundly affect people’s lives. I have published in Social Science Research, Sociology of Religion, Review of Religious Research, Sociological Focus, and Religions. My research has been covered by media outlets, such as The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and USA Today.
My dissertation explored how gender impacts religious congregations. I focused on three different aspects of these organizations--the professional clergy, volunteer leadership, and subjective ritual experiences--because I want to examine how gender plays out within these organizations from multiple levels.
In addition to my research, I am passionate about teaching. I teach "Introduction to Sociology," "Social Problems," and "Sociology of Gender" at UMHB, and I take so much pleasure helping students understand their social world. It's a joy to see them learn about the social forces shaping their lives.
Before becoming a sociologist, I earned a Master of Divinity from Duke University and was a pastor in Houston. I was drawn to sociology because, as a leader in a religious community, I saw the powerful social forces that shaped neighborhoods and entire cities.
I am married to Emma, a veterinarian, and we have a beautiful daughter.