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SRRA Lecture Series

Once a year, the Sport and Religion Research Alliance hosts a distinguished expert for a campus lecture.

SRRA Lecture Series 2023/24

Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Time: 1:00-2:15 p.m.

Place: UT’s Student Union Room 262 A/B

Title: “Play, Sport and Religion in the 21st Century: Trends and Issues”

Speaker: Dr. Terry Shoemaker, Associate Teaching Professor, Depts. of Religious Studies and Ethics, Sport and Culture, Arizona State University


Dr. Terry Shoemaker is a qualitative research scholar focusing on religious change in contemporary life in the United States. This includes the ways that religion and religious people adapt, convert, deconvert, reform, and abandon aspects of their religiosity or spirituality. He also is a leading scholar who examines the nexus of sport, recreation, disability and religion in contemporary culture.


SRRA Lecture Series 2022/23

Date: Thursday, November 3, 2022

Time: 6:00-7:00 pm

Place: UT’s Student Union Room 180

Title: “Seeing the “Big Red Elephant” in the Room: Counseling Practice and Techniques for Promoting Mental Health and Wellness with the Athlete Populations”

Speaker: Taunya Tinsley, PH.D., D.MIN., NCC, LPC


This lecture is designed to begin the process of developing multicultural sports counseling to create competent leaders in sport. The conversation will provide a framework for the creation of a specific model for the holistic development of the athlete population that includes spiritual and mental health counseling. To reach people no one else is reaching we must do things no one else is doing that includes relating to, and caring for, the sports community by bridging the gap between culture, sports, religion, and wellness. Both the lecture and the model connect theories of human development, psychology, counseling, sports studies, spiritual care, and the multicultural sports counseling competencies.


SRRA Lecture Series 2021/22

Date: Monday, March 28, 2022

Time: 6:00-7:00 pm

Place: Online Live Zoom Webinar

Title: Sport Tech: Faster, Stronger, BETTER?

Speaker: Tracy J. Trothen, ThD

Professor of Ethics, School of Religion
Joint Appointment, School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences
Queen’s University
Kingston, Ontario, CAN


Technology is developing at a furious pace. In sport, the tech race to become the best athlete is ratcheting up. Robots, pharmaceuticals, immersive AI, the Vaporfly running shoe, telemetry hacking sensors, nutrigenomics, genetic modification, cognitive enhancements, and more, are changing sport. In this technological age, it is becoming increasing difficult to identify our values and recognize what we love about sport. Spirituality may be a valuable part of the sport experience but may not be consciously recognized. We may experience something “more” that lifts sport into another zone but not be able to articulate the meaning of that something more. “Technological doping” is complicating things. If winning is important, but not everything or the only thing, then we must take a close look at how we are “enhancing” sport. In this talk, we will consider what it means to become better in sport. We will look at our values. We will look at sport’s spiritual dimension. And we will explore sport examples of technological doping and how these may or may not make us better.

Sport Tech Faster Stronger BETTER

SRRA Lecture Series 2020

Canceled due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic

SRRA Lecture Series 2019   

Title: Observations at the Intersection of Religion and Sport in American Culture

Speaker: Jeffrey Scholes, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy

Director, Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

SRRA Lecture Series 2018  

Title: When Race, Religion, and Sport Collide

Speaker: Darren T. Smith, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Religious Studies, University of Memphis