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Chris Stedman Joining the Interfaith Institute as 2023-2024 Research Fellow

The Interfaith Institute is thrilled to welcome nationally-recognized interfaith advocate, humanist community builder and researcher, and Augsburg alum Chris Stedman ‘08 to the institute as our inaugural Research Fellow.  Chris will be focusing his research on the religiously unaffiliated and religious indifference. His work is a vital contribution to understanding the current state of diverse belief systems of students in higher education and younger generations across society, particularly the widely misunderstood religiously unaffiliated population. He will be sharing his research with the larger campus community and beyond at the end of his Fellowship. 

Chris Stedman is a writer, professor, and activist who teaches in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Augsburg University. He is the author of IRL: Finding Realness, Meaning, and Belonging in Our Digital Lives (2020, with a second edition released in August 2022) and Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious (2012), described in a ten-year retrospective by the Center for Religion and Media at NYU as “excellent and much-discussed.” He is also the writer and host of the podcast Unread, which was named one of the best podcasts of 2021 by the Guardian, Vulture, HuffPost, Mashable, the CBC, and others. In addition, Chris has written popular essays for outlets including the Atlantic, Pitchfork, BuzzFeed, VICE, and the Washington Post, as well as for publications like The Journal for College and Character and Interfaith Voices, and contributed essays to collections such as Everyday Humanism and Humanist Voices in Unitarian Universalism.

At Augsburg, Chris teaches on the search for meaning. He was previously a fellow at Augsburg’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship and served as an Interfaith Fellow with the Institute. As the Institute’s Research Fellow, Chris is currently studying the religiously unaffiliated and religious indifference, an effort for which he was also awarded a Director’s Residency at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. As an Augsburg student, he graduated in 2008 with a degree in Religion and minors in English and Social Work.

Previously the founding director of the Yale Humanist Community and a fellow at Yale University, he also served as a humanist chaplain at Harvard University, a content developer and trainer for Interfaith America (formerly Interfaith Youth Core), and as the founding director of State of Formation at the Journal for Inter-Religious Dialogue. In 2018, Augsburg selected Stedman for their annual First Decade Award, which recognizes alumni “who have made significant progress in their professional achievements and contributions to the community” ten years after graduating.