Cy Schleifer

Cy Schleifer joined the OU Department of Sociology in August 2015.  His research in the sociology of religion focuses on the social conditions under which religion – as a system of beliefs, practices, and institutions – plays a central role in motivating social action and what particular life events reshape individuals’ religious lives. He employs a wide variety of causal statistical models, including longitudinal analyses that account for religious change (or lack of change) over time. His work focuses on the relationship between religion and family, religion and higher education, and decision-making in congregations. Additionally, he is working on developing better approaches for creating aggregate measures of religiosity and forecasting trends of religious belonging. His work aims at strengthening the understanding of 1) the place and power of religion in social and private lives and 2) demonstrating the efficacy of causal analyses in sociology. 

Cy received his doctoral degree in sociology from Duke University in 2015. He has published an article in the Journal of Sociological Methods & Research and has an article forthcoming in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. He is looking forward to teaching a number of core sociology classes – introduction to sociology, sociological methods, and social statistics – as well as teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in the sociology of religion and advanced courses in quantitative methods. In collaboration with Professor Martin Piotrowski, Cy is organizing a working group in advanced statistical methods in the social sciences in an effort to develop an interdisciplinary community at OU in and around advances in statistical methodologies and the application of these approaches in the social sciences.

In addition to Cy’s education in sociology, he also has a background in religious studies. He completed a Master in Religion at Duke University in 2008 with a focus on the history of religion in America. OU has provided him the additional opportunity of working as a core faculty member in the program in religious studies. Here he hopes to foster cross-disciplinary dialogues among scholars and students of religion. His future course in the sociology of religion will be cross-listed in the OU religious studies program. OU has made a commitment to the academic study of religion across the entire campus and Cy is excited to be a part of this growing community.

As a native Oklahoman, Cy is excited to return home to pursue his teaching and research at the University of Oklahoma. He grew up in Norman and attended some his first concerts at the Sharp Concert Hall and some of his first sporting events at the Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium and the Lloyd Noble Center. Across his high school and undergraduate careers Cy was able to take a number of classes at OU including his first sociology class. The opportunity to come full circle in his academic career is a dream come true, and Cy hopes to play a role in inspiring the next generation of OU students to pursue their academic dreams and deepen their appreciation for social science research and the fascinating role of religion in everyday life.