Benjamin Thomas Gurrentz

Benjamin  Thomas Gurrentz
401 Oswald Tower
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 865-6258

Curriculum Vitae

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BENJAMIN GURRENTZ is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Pennsylvania State University. His teaching and research interests include family, religion, social psychology, and quantitative methods. Specifically, he analyzes the micro processes of identity, group dynamics, and social networks that underlay the unique relationship between families and religious groups. In order to accomplish these goals and facilitate better statistical inferences, he employs advanced quantitative methods, including KHB mediation techniques, latent class analysis, propensity score matching, and fixed effects regression models. His research has been covered by the Huffington Post, and his studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Social Science ResearchSociology of Religion, and Marriage & Family Review.

Benjamin Gurrentz strongly believes in providing high quality teaching and educational resources for the next generation of sociologists. Aiming to build bridges for students to engage in higher learning, he emphasizes a student-centered approach to learning through the use of multimedia, experience-based written assignments, interactive class activities, and a collaborative student-teacher learning environment. Moreover, he has organized teaching-related departmental workshops and has developed online educational resources for students, including an online religion dictionary ( and an interactive historical timeline of religion in the United States ( Having taught social psychology, social statistics, and introductory sociology, he looks forward to teaching a broader range of courses in the future.


"Family, Faith, and Friends: Incorporating Social Networks into the Study of Family and Religion"

Dissertation Chair(s):

Roger Finke

Research Interests:

Marriage/Romantic Relationships, Family, Religion, Social Psychology; Quantitative Methods