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Affiliated Scholars

The Affiliated Scholars program aligns with the center’s goals to:

  • conduct contextualized research (the convergence of sport, religion, and spirituality),
  • disseminate findings from significant studies in the area of sport and religion,
  • engage in collaborative programming (e.g., speakers, webinars, mini-conferences) with our internal and external partners where appropriate.

The program creates a network of scholars who support these goals through their research engagement related to sport and religion. These individuals can be faculty at the University of Tennessee as well as external faculty.


Affiliated scholars are expected to regularly publish research related to sport and religion. Pertaining to these topics, we expect at least one presentation at a national/international conference per year and at least one scholarly publication (i.e., peer-reviewed journal article, book chapter, or book) every two years. Affiliated Scholars provide the center with updated information regarding research activities and publications.


Affiliated scholars become part of a network of active scholars. Their work will be featured on the center’s site and in annual reports. Affiliated scholars receive notification of the center’s events and are welcome to attend. Affiliated scholars can also serve as guest speakers in classes, webinars, or conferences.

Becoming an Affiliated Scholar

We accept affiliated scholars by invitation only. For more information, please contact Lars Dzikus at

List of Affiliated Scholars

Trevor Egli is an Associate Professor and Program Director Sport and Fitness Leadership at Johnson University. As a scholar, he focuses on connections between Christianity and sport psychology.

Leslee A. Fisher is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, University of Tennessee. Her expertise is in cultural sport psychology, intersectional identities, moral development, and caring coaches.

Landon Huffman is an Associate Professor of Sport and Fitness Leadership at Johnson University. His areas of expertise include sport and spirituality, as well as holistic development.

Sean Samuel O’Neil is a Lecturer in the Department of Religion at Texas Christian University. His research focuses on sport and religion, especially experiences of people with disability as well as Latinx and Latin Americans. 

Jeff Scholes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He also serves as the Director for the Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life. His research focuses on popular theology and consumer culture and connections between religion and sports.

Charles “Hal” Wilson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology at Georgia Southern University. His research interests include intersections of leadership, coaching, and spirituality, as well as coaching education.