religion | culture | theology | public intellect

Ken Chitwood is a religion scholar currently working as a a journalist-fellow with the University of Southern California’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture’s Spiritual Exemplars Project and as an Adjunct Instructor with Concordia College New York’s Global Initiative program. He graduated with his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 2019 where he worked with the Department of Religion and the Center for Global Islamic Studies. His academic work focuses on Islam in the Americas, Puerto Rican Muslims, Latinx Muslims, hemispheric American religion (including North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean), translocal religion, intersections of religion & culture, Christian-Muslim relations, global Christianity, Muslim minorities, & ethnographic methods and manifestations of religion-beyond-religion in a global and digital age. Additionally, he has published work on Judaism in Latin America and the Caribbean, religion and popular culture, and other relevant topics.

He has been reviewing books on Christianity, Islam, religion, anthropology, culture, and history for six years with Publisher's Weekly, the Houston ChronicleReading Religion from the American Academy of Religion, and other scholarly and popular publications. In that time Ken has read and reviewed over 100 books and monographs.

Ken is an award-winning religion, travel, and culture newswriter. His bylines include work with Newsweek,, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Religion News Service, The Guardian, AFAR Magazine, The Raw Story, The Times of India, USA Today, Sojourners Magazine, The Daily Dot, Sightings from the University of Chicago, Deseret News National, Christian Century, The Houston Chronicle, US Catholic, RealClear Religion, Epicenter Magazine, The Living Church, The Gainesville Sun, The Lutheran (Australia), HUM Magazine, Indo-American News, LCEF Leader-to-Leader, The Olive Tree (New Zealand), The Lattice Journal & other publications. Take a look at some of his published work HERE.

Chitwood is also a forward-thinking Lutheran theologian, pastor & popular speaker who accents 'glocal' 21st-century Christianity. As a "theologian without borders," his interests include global theologies, multi-cultural ministry, & the contextualization of doctrines & practices across religious boundaries, physical borders, & cultural barriers. Weaving together historical context, societal exegesis, & a fair dose of ironic humor, Ken speaks with power, love, & sound mind. 

In addition to writing, teaching, and research Ken enjoys ultra-distance running, well-placed sarcasm, craft beer, bike-commuting, traveling, hiking, camping, & rugby. 

*What is vocatio? Vocatio is Latin for "vocation" or "calling." Ken feels called to the work of religious literacy. For him it is more than work, it is an effort with spiritual promptings & divine intimations.