Joseph T. Reiff

Professor Religion

Joseph Reiff is an ordained United Methodist minister with membership in the Mississippi Annual Conference, and he served as a pastor of churches in Georgia and Mississippi from 1977-1985. Dr. Reiff’s book, Born of Conviction: White Methodists and Mississippi’s Closed Society, published by Oxford University Press in November 2015, focuses on the response of the white Methodist Church in Mississippi to the civil rights movement in the early 1960s. He holds memberships in the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Church History, and the Southern Historical Association. 

Since 1990 he has taught here at Emory & Henry; he became Chair of the Religion Department in 1998. The courses Dr. Reiff teaches include New Testament Survey, Old Testament Survey, Introduction to the Christian Faith, Church and World, The Christian Faith in Literature, Church and Community Ministries, Contemporary Religion in the U.S., and Psychological Development and Religious Faith. In addition, he teaches these courses in the E&H core curriculum: an ETLA 100 Transitions I (first-year) course entitled “What Is the Good Life in the Digital Age?” and ETLA 315, “The Book of Genesis in Context.” He also occasionally preaches and teaches Bible studies in local churches, mostly United Methodist. His Ph.D. dissertation was a congregational study of St. Paul United Methodist church in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta. 

Honors and awards received by Dr. Reiff include E&H’s William C. Finch Award for Faculty Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship, and Service in 2017, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters 2016 Nonfiction Award for Born of Conviction, a Louisville Institute Religious Institutions Grant in 2005-06, and two awards from the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church: the Exemplary Teaching Award for 2000-01 and a Dempster Graduate Fellowship in 1988-89. 


  • B.A., Millsaps College
  • M.Div. & Ph.D., Emory University
  • Joseph Reiff
    Joseph Reiff