A student of American religious history, Dr. Russell E. Richey’s research and writing focus on Methodism, comparative denominational studies, and American civil or public religion. His most recent book, Methodism in the American Forest (Oxford University Press, 2015) was judged "the outstanding book on United Methodist history or a related subject published during 2015" by the Historical Society of The United Methodist Church. Richey’s other recent books include American Methodism: A Compact History, with Kenneth E. Rowe and Jean Miller Schmidt, (Abingdon, 2012); Denominationalism Illustrated and Explained (Cascade Books, Wipf & Stock, 2013); and Formation for Ministry in American Methodism: Twenty-first Century Challenges and Two Centuries of Problem-Solving (General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, UMC, 2014).

His monograph on Methodism and regionalism, tentatively entitled Mason-Dixon Methodism, is underway and scheduled for publication with New Room Books (General Board of Higher Education and Ministry), and he is partnering on a volume on Methodists in America in the Columbia Contemporary American Religion Series (Columbia University Press) with Ted Campbell of Perkins School of Theology.

Richey is co-editor of the Emory-based online journal, Methodist Review, on the eidtorial board of the Journal of Southern Religion, and represents Emory on the editorial board of New Room Books (General Board of Higher Education and Ministry). 

He co-led the Summer Wesley Seminar of Duke's Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition in 2009, 2011, 2014, and 2016. Richey is a member of the Board of Advisors of Asbury Theological Seminary's Wesleyan Studies Summer Seminar, which he co-directed in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019.

Richey is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church and retired member of the North Georgia Conference.