The University of Virginia’s Mormon Studies program began in 2013 with the establishment of the Richard Lyman Bushman Endowed Professorship in Mormon Studies. It is dedicated to promoting the academic study and understanding of Mormonism through teaching and research. Each year approximately 100 students from across the university enroll in courses and lectures about the origins and development of Mormonism, its beliefs and practices, as well as its history and cultural significance.
The University of Virginia is a mid-sized public university in central Virginia, known for its founding by Thomas Jefferson and its strong emphasis on the liberal arts and sciences. Since U.S. News began its rankings, UVA has never placed less than second in the listing of public universities. In the 20-year history of the combined ranking of private and public schools, it consistently ranks in the top 10 percent of all 262 national universities. We welcome you to apply.
Kathleen Flake is the first to occupy the Professorship, after a rigorous search for a scholar whose academic pedigree, body of scholarly work, and collegial commitment would be an asset to the institution at large, as well as to the study of Mormonism. Professor Flake brings to her teaching and research a breadth of training in history, religious studies, law and English literature. She has served in positions of responsibility in national professional organizations and on the boards of scholarly journals, and has been the recipient of grants from national foundations promoting academic research. Her publications have proven to be popular among academic and general readers, and many are featured here in our Resources section.
The study of Mormonism at UVA is situated in the Graduate Program in Religious Studies, which grants both doctoral and masters degrees. Students of Mormonism work closely with the Bushman Professor and in collaboration with other American Religious History faculty to master the academic study of Mormonism and prepare to teach it as part of a liberal arts curriculum.
Mormon Studies is an optional subspecialty or program focus for those obtaining a graduate degree in Religious Studies. In other words, as is the case with the study of all religious traditions at the University, no graduate degree is offered in Mormon Studies specifically, but rather in the general field of Religious Studies with a research and teaching specialty in Mormonism.