Scott Kenworthy

Scott KenworthyAssociate Professor
200C Upham Hall
(513) 529-4308

Vision for students: "Religion is a critical factor in contemporary global affairs. Being able to navigate religious sensibilities and values systems is a key intercultural skill. It sets our majors apart from their competitors, opening new opportunities for them in government, education, law, business, or healthcare."


B.A., Religious Studies & English (UC Santa Barbara, 1990)
M.A., Religious Studies (UC Santa Barbara, 1992)
M.A., Theology (St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, 1996)
Ph.D., History (Brandeis University, 2002)

International experience: Dr. Kenworthy has been making regular research trips to Russia for over twenty years, including an 18-month stay while researching his dissertation. He has led or assisted several Miami University summer workshops in Russia and Ukraine.

As a Senior Fulbright Scholar, he taught at universities in Romania for three semesters. A research fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation allowed him to spend nearly two years in Germany conducting research on his latest book.


REL 101 - Introduction to Religion: Religion and Globalization
REL/RUS 133 - Imagining Russia
REL 233 - History of Christianity
REL 337 - Religions of Russia and Eurasia
REL 338 - Eastern Christianity
REL 470/570 - Problems of Western Religious Thought
REL 482/582 - Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Summer Workshop

Dr. Kenworthy's courses explore the development of Christianity from historical and global perspectives. Assignments develop students' skills in critical reading, analytical reasoning, and effective oral and written argumentation.


Cover of "Understanding World Christianity: Russia"Dr. Kenworthy specializes in the history and thought of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, particularly in modern Russia. His first book, The Heart of Russia: Trinity-Sergius, Monasticism, and Society After 1825 (Oxford University Press, 2010), won the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize of the American Society of Church History. He has also co-authored an introductory textbook, Understanding World Christianity: Russia (Fortress Press, 2021).

He is currently writing a critical biography of Patriarch Tikhon Bellavin (1865-1925), the head of the Orthodox Church during the Russian Revolution of 1917, whose life serves as a lens for examining the experience of Christianity under a militant atheist regime.

Dr. Kenworthy's awards and honors include fellowships from the Kennan Institute (Woodrow Wilson Center), the International Research and Exchanges Board, the Social Science Research Council, and the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies at Miami University.

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Beyond the department

Dr. Kenworthy is an Associate of Miami's Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies, for whom he teaches a research colloquium (REL 470A/570A). In addition, he is an affiliate faculty member of the Department of History and is involved in the Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies program at Miami.

He is past president of the Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture. He has been a council member of the American Society of Church History, and served for many years on the steering committee for the Eastern Orthodox Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion.

Areas of expertise

  • Religion in Russia
  • Eastern Orthodox Christianity
  • History of Christianity
  • Global Christianity