Kate Soules, PhD

Photo of Kate Soules in a hexagonal frame on a green background

Kate Soules, PhD, is an education researcher and independent consultant specializing in religious literacy and religious diversity education. She works with organizations to assess the outcomes and effects of their programs so that they can increase the reach and impact of this work. Her research examines the assessment and evaluation of religious literacy education, teacher professional learning about religion, and the impacts of religious literacy education for both students and educators. 

Dr. Soules is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Religion and Education Collaborative (REC), an interdisciplinary network of scholars and practitioners working at the intersections of religion and schooling.

Dr. Soules consults as a researcher and curriculum specialist with organizations including the Aspen Institute’s Religion and Society Program, International Baccalaureate, the American Academy of Religion, Kaur Foundation, and others. She has developed and taught courses about religious literacy and religious liberty for students of all ages, from elementary school through adult professional development.

She was a 2019-2020 recipient of the Religious Literacy Fellowship from the Foundation for Religious Literacy. In 2021, she received the Emerging Scholar Award from the Religious and Education Special Interest Group at the American Education Research Association. 

Current & Recent Projects

International Baccalaureate – World Religions Course: Core Developer and Curriculum Reviewer (2019 – Present)

Religion & Society Program, Aspen Institute – Fellow for Religious Literacy and Evaluation (2022-2023)

American Academy of Religion – Religious Literacy Workshop Designer and Facilitator (2022)

Virtues in the Public Square (1791 Delegates and the Foundation for Religious Literacy) – Research Director (2022 – 2023)

Pedagogical Content Knowledge about Religion – A religious literacy framework and evaluation tool for educators



Boston College, Lynch School of Education

Doctor of Philosophy, Curriculum & Instruction


Boston University, School of Theology

Master of Theological Studies (MTS)


Wellesley College

Bachelor of Arts, Sociology

Selected Publication

Soules, K. & Pagnoni, G. (2023). Understanding Educator Motivations for Participating in Religious Literacy Professional Development. In A. Bodles, E. Bellows, E.E. Saylor, S. An, & L.B. Buchanan (Eds), Religion, the First Amendment, and Public Schools. Information Age Publishing

Soules, K. & Jafralie, S. (2021). Religious Literacy in Teacher Education, Religion & Education,
DOI: 10.1080/15507394.2021.1876497

Soules, K. (2020) Review: Contextual Considerations for Student-Centered Religious Education, Religion & Education, 47:2, 131-134,

Marcus, B.P, Soules, K. & Callaway, D. (2020) National Summit on Religion and Education: A White Paper. Religion & Education, 47:1, 2-18,
DOI: 10.1080/15507394.2020.1714403

Russo, C. J., Soules, K., Newman, A., & Douglass, S. L. (2018). Private Religious Schools. In M. D. Waggoner & N. C. Walker (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of religion and American education. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Gardner, G.S., Soules, K., & Valk , J. (2017) The Urgent Need for Teacher Preparation in Religious and Secular Worldview Education. Religious Education, 112(3), 242-254, DOI: 10.1080/00344087.2017.1309113

Additional Experience

American Academy of Religion – Religious Literacy Workshop Designer and Facilitator (2022)

Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute, Washington D.C. – Instructor, Curriculum Designer, Evaluation Consultant (2017 – 2021)

Boston College, Office of Practicum Experiences & Teacher Induction, Chestnut Hill, MA – Pre-Practicum Program Supervisor (2016 – 2017)

Mother Caroline Academy, Dorchester, MA – Teaching Fellow (2010 – 2012)


American Education Research Association

Chair, Religion and Education SIG (2021-2023)

American Academy of Religion

Co-Chair, Religion and Public Schools: International Perspectives Unit (2023-present)

National Council for the Social Studies

Recent Presentations

Soules, K. (November 2022) Does religious literacy education make any difference and how do we know? A review of evaluation and assessment practices in religious literacy education. Paper presentation at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado.

Celidwen, Y., Soules, K., Jones, R.P. (November 2022) Beyond the Academy: Pursuing Jobs Off of the Tenure Track. Panel Convened by the Applied Religious Studies Committee at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado.

Soules, K. (April 2021) No Singular Way: Developing More Complex Conceptions of Religion Following Professional Development About Religious Diversity. Roundtable presentation at the American Education Research Association Annual Meeting, Virtual Conference

Biondo, V., Moore, D., Pagnoni, G., Soules, K., Ibrahim, C., Earley, D. (November, 2020) Religious Literacy and K-12 Education: Opportunities for Successful Partnerships. Panel convened by the Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Virtual Conference.

Owens, E., Berglund, J., Grelle, B., Marcus, B., Sheena, M.K., Soules, K., Walker, N. (November 2019) Teaching About Religion in Public Schools: A Roundtable for K-12 Teachers and Teacher Educators. Panel Presentation at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.