About Me

Tricia C. Bruce, Ph.D. is a sociologist of religion and award-winning author of Parish and Place (Oxford University Press, 2017) and Faithful Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2011/2014). She is the coeditor of Polarization in the US Catholic Church (Liturgical Press, 2016) and American Parishes (Fordham University Press, 2019). Dr. Bruce holds an MA and PhD in sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a BA in sociology and communication from Southwestern University. She is an affiliate of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society as well as adjunct research associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Previously, Dr. Bruce held appointments as tenured associate professor of sociology at Maryville College and as research assistant professor with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University. She has conducted applied research for clients including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and is a frequent media commentator on social issues. She resides with her family in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Expanded bio:

I am a sociologist with primary interests in the sociology of religion, and Catholicism in particular. My work also intersects organizations, social change, social movements, immigration, race, culture, and applied research. View my c.v. here.

My books include Parish and Place: Making Room for Diversity in the American Catholic Church (2017, Oxford University Press); Faithful Revolution: How Voice of the Faithful Is Changing the Church (2011/2014, Oxford University Press); Polarization in the US Catholic Church (co-edited with Mary Ellen Konieczny and Charles Camosy, 2016, Liturgical Press); and American Parishes: Remaking Local Catholicism (coedited with Gary Adler and Brian Starks, forthcoming 2019, Fordham University Press).

Successful Book Launch for Faithful Revolution

I am also the author of several articles and chapters in the sociology of religion and sociology of Catholicism.

I co-led The American Parish Project (TAPP) with Gary Adler and Brian Starks, aimed at revitalizing the sociology of the Catholic parish.

img_1307I was also the lead researcher, with Drs. Jerry Park and Stephen Cherry, of a national study of Asian and Pacific Islander American Catholics that led to the US Catholic Bishops’ pastoral response letter, Encountering Christ in Harmony. We are now collaborating on a book to share key findings from this project.

I am a frequent television and radio commentator on contemporary sociological issues (religion, Catholicism, social trends, family, gender, etc.), and can be reached quickly via email for media inquiries. I am the media liaison for the American Sociological Association’s Section on the Sociology of Religion (journalists may contact me here) and treasurer of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR). I also serve as an academic writing coach for the Academic Writing Club.

14925298_10154200116169037_3100846142213560485_nI am an affiliate of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society as well as adjunct associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at San Antonio (Non-Residential/Research).

From 2007 to 2018, I was an associate professor of Sociology at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee, a small liberal arts college between Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains. I coordinated the Sociology major and taught courses including the sociology of religion, social movements, social theory, research methods, introductory sociology, sociology of disaster, social stratification, and immigration. I am also a former research assistant professor at Georgetown University with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).


I hold a BA in Sociology and Communication from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX and an MA and PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. I am originally from San Antonio, Texas, but now call Knoxville, TN home with my spouse Brandon & children Sonoma and Carson. My hobbies include playing the guitar, mandolin, and piano in the folk/singer-songwriter genre, walking, wine tasting, and adventuring with my family. I am also an engaged community advocate in the city of Knoxville.