In addition to her role at Candler, The Rev. Dr. Nichole R. Phillips is associate faculty in the Department of Sociology at Emory College of Arts and Sciences, and a senior faculty fellow at the Emory Center for Ethics. A sociologist of religion and public theologian, she teaches courses in community and congregational studies.
Her research interests lie at the intersection of religion and American public life with a focus on community and congregational studies where she investigates the moral commitments and vision of community and congregational members. Her scholarship treats religion, critical race, gender, and cultural memory studies. She is also developing new research interests in the sociology of science and religion.
Her first monograph, Patriotism Black and White: The Color of American Exceptionalism (Baylor, 2018), is a study of Black and white evangelicals in a rural southern community and their shifting interpretations of American national identity and U.S. exceptionalism with the election of Barack H. Obama as America’s first president of African descent and at the height of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Patriotism Black and White was on The Christian Century’s Best Sellers List in 2019.
Along with her numerous roles serving on Emory committees and boards, Phillips is a member of several professional societies and community organizations and is consistently asked to speak on issues of relevance to American society in the areas of religion, culture, politics, and public life.
Phillips is actively involved with the Council on Foreign Relations Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative, the American Academy of Religion, the Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies, and is a member of the American Sociological Association, Association for the Sociology of Religion, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Outside the academy, she has held positions with The Hotchkiss School Board of Governors and presently with the United Way of Greater Atlanta.
A recipient of numerous recognitions, honors, and awards, Phillips was initiated into The Society for the Study of Black Religion in Spring 2018. In 2019, she was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. International College of Ministers and Laity, and as a member of the Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College. She has also received the Teresa L. Fry Brown Faculty Award from the Black Student Caucus and Candler School of Theology’s “On Eagles Wings” Excellence in Teaching Award. Phillips is the inaugural recipient of the 2019 Provost’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Excellence in Professional and Graduate Education at Emory University.
Phillips is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) and has served on ministerial staffs in New England and the South.
“Black Faith, Bodies, Mother Mortality and COVID-19: A Response to Religion, Science and Medicine,” a sociology of science and religion research project funded by The Templeton Religion Trust and coordinated by the Issachur Fund in partnership with Rice University and the University of California, San Diego, 2020-2023
The Christian Century Best Sellers List for Patriotism Black and White: The Color of American Exceptionalism, 2019
Provost’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Education, Emory University, 2019
“On Eagles Wings” Excellence in Teaching, Candler School of Theology, 2019
Inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. International College of Ministers and Laity, Morehouse College, 2019
Teresa L. Fry Brown Faculty Award, Black Student Caucus, 2019
Senior Faculty Fellow, Center for Ethics, Emory University
Emory University Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, Scholarly Writing and Publishing (SWAP) Grant, 2016
Alum of the Month, The Hotchkiss School, 2014
Mellon Foundation Humanistic Inquiry Program (HIP) Fellow, Candler School of Theology, 2013-present
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Practical Theology and Religious Practices, Candler School of Theology, 2012-2013
Group for New Directions in Pastoral Theology, 2010