Current Research

My research focuses on American political behavior, specifically public opinion and voting behavior. Within that sub-field I specialize in religion and politics, race and politics, and political psychology. Specifically, my main research questions investigate attitudes involving minority groups within society, particularly racial, national, and religious minorities.

My Google Scholar profile is public and contains links to my various publications, conference presentations, and book reviews. It is available here.

My CV is available here.

I also blog at Huffington Post:



She Preached the Word:

Women’s Ordination in Modern America

by Benjamin Knoll and Cammie Jo Bolin

Oxford University Press, 2018

Cover_R3_ShePreachedTheWord_KnollBolin - small


Publisher’s website: 

Amazon website

She Preached the Word is a landmark study of women’s ordination in contemporary American congregations. In this groundbreaking work, Benjamin Knoll and Cammie Jo Bolin draw upon a novel collection of survey data and personal narrative interviews to answer several important questions, including: Who supports women’s ordination in their congregations? What are the most common reasons for and against women’s ordination? What effect do female clergy have on young women and girls, particularly in terms of their psychological, economic, and religious empowerment later in life? How do women clergy affect levels of congregational attendance and engagement among members? What explains the persistent gender gap in America’s clergy? Knoll and Bolin find that female clergy indeed matter, but not always in the ways that might be expected. They show, for example, that while female clergy have important effects on women in the pews, they have stronger effects on theological and political liberals. Throughout this book, Knoll and Bolin discuss how the persistent gender gap in the wider economic, social, and political spheres will likely continue so long as women are underrepresented in America’s pulpits. Accessible to scholars and general readers alike, She Preached the Word is a timely and important contribution to our understanding of the intersection of gender, religion, and politics in contemporary American society.”

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1. Introduction: The Need for a New Perspective
Chapter 2. Women’s Ordination in America: A Contemporary Overview
Chapter 3. Support and Skepticism Regarding Women’s Ordination
Chapter 4. Who Supports Women’s Ordination in America?
Chapter 5. A Second Look at Views on Women’s Ordination
Chapter 6. Clergywomen and Young Girls: The Importance of Role Models
Chapter 7. The Effect of Clergywomen: Religious Representation
Chapter 8. The Effect of Clergywomen: Religious Empowerment and Mobilization
Chapter 9. Conclusion: Clergywomen Matter

Benjamin Knoll is the John Marshall Harlan Associate Professor of Politics at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Iowa and specializes in public opinion and voting behavior, with a specialization in religion, race, ethnicity, and politics. He is the current director of the Boyle County Exit Poll and Centre College’s Colonel’s Canvass Survey and a frequent contributor to Huffington Post and other online venues.

Cammie Jo Bolin is a recent graduate of Centre College and currently a Ph.D. student in political science at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Her research interests include gender and politics, representation, and religion and politics.



The Next Mormons Survey

by Jana Riess and Benjamin Knoll

The 2016 Next Mormons Survey is an online public opinion survey of current and former members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the United States. This survey sampled 1,156 self-identified Mormons and 540 self-identified former Mormons between September 8 and November 1, 2016 and is representative of American Mormons and former Mormons nationally. With over 120 questions, it is, to our knowledge, the most extensive collection of Mormon attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors collected by independent or academic researchers to date. For more information, see here.

Published survey results can be found here: