Josh’s Bio

Joshua W. Jeffery, Sr.

Principal Investigator

Joshua Jeffery is a graduate student in U.S. History, and currently, a Chancellor’s Fellow, at the University of Tennessee. Before his studies at UT, Josh was the Faculty Director of a First Year Learning Community at Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon, where he also taught history. He has also taught courses in history at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.   He holds a Master of Theological Studies Degree in Historical Studies from Vanderbilt University Divinity School, where he studied American Religious History and Political Theology. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Warner Pacific College, and an Associate of Arts degree with concentrations in Religious Studies and Public Safety from Clackamas Community College, in Oregon City, Oregon.

Before returning to academia, Joshua had a full time career in Law Enforcement, working for the City of Portland as a Water Bureau Ranger. For six out of the ten years that he worked for the City, he held program management responsibilities over the protection program for the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit, which is the principal water supply area for the City of Portland, located in the Mount Hood National Forest. As the lead Ranger for the Bull Run Watershed, he enforced federal, state and local criminal statutes and regulations, and was involved in wildland fire suppression for the area. Joshua holds or has held licensure and certifications in law enforcement, structural and wildland fire suppression, emergency medical response, search and rescue, hazardous materials emergency response, and emergency management. Joshua’s transition from the field of public safety to the study of history, social science, and religion occurred in part from his recognition that his work in the field contributed to ongoing structural injustice and violence in society. Joshua hopes to use his research to become an advocate for change in the how government interacts with individuals and with power structures (especially religious power structures) in the larger society.

Joshua’s professional experiences have and continue to inform his research interests. His current research lies in the intersection of religion and the state, especially concerning warfare and conscientious objection, and the place of religion in the imposition of cultural and social control. He is also interested in the study of the history and theology of his faith tradition, the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement, broadly construed.

Joshua’s vocational goals include pursuing employment as a tenure-track professor, teaching and conducting research in U.S. History, using religion, social science, and digital humanities as his major interpretative and methodological tools.