Send submissions to the Journal of the Mormon Social Science Association to Direct all other inquiries about the journal to Rick Phillips.


  • Rick Phillips, University of North Florida

Managing Editor

  • Jana Riess, Religion News Service

Editorial Board

  • John Bartkowski, University of Texas at San Antonio 
  • Janet Bennion, Northern Vermont University
  • Matthew Bowman, Claremont Graduate University
  • David Campbell, University of Notre Dame
  • Fenella Cannell, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Gina Colvin, University of Canterbury
  • Stephen Cranney, Baylor University
  • Ryan Cragun, University of Tampa
  • Douglas Davies, Durham University
  • John-Charles Duffy, Miami University
  • Tobin Grant, Southern Illinois University
  • John Hamer, Community of Christ, Toronto Centre Place
  • Sam Hardy, Brigham Young University
  • Ralph Hood, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
  • David Howlett, Smith College
  • Amy Hoyt, Claremont Graduate University
  • Danny Jorgenson, University of South Florida
  • Laurie Maffly-Kipp, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Patrick Mason, Utah State University
  • Michael McBride, University of California-Irvine
  • Jana Riess, Religion News Service
  • Gary Shepherd, Oakland University
  • Gordon Shepherd, University of Central Arkansas
  • David Stewart, University of Nevada-Las Vegas
  • Barbara Walden, Graceland University

History of JMSSA

Journal of the Mormon Social Science Association is an effort to address the unmet needs of social scientists studying the Latter Day Saint movement in all of its manifestations, both historical and contemporary.

In 2014, the board of directors of the Mormon Social Science Association (MSSA) met to discuss the need for a scholarly journal analyzing the Latter Day Saint movement using the theories and methods of social science.

Social scientists specializing in Mormonism publish in a variety of general and religion-themed journals, but these venues sometimes impose limitations. For example, most journals in the sociology of religion are aimed at scholars working across the field, and thus articles on Mormonism must produce findings that are relevant for a wider audience. This precludes papers with important, but highly specialized findings that are useful to scholars studying Mormonism, but not necessarily for those studying other faiths.

Moreover, when writing for a general audience, the uniqueness of Mormon theology and polity often necessitates digressions that are superfluous for specialists. Pausing to clarify terms like “paradise,” and “priest” can be unwieldy. Explaining doctrines that are well understood within Mormon Studies—e.g., “exaltation” and “endowment”—can obstruct the flow of one’s argument.

Hence, members of the Mormon Social Science Association—a scholarly society in its fifth decade—agreed to launch a refereed journal tailored to their work. But the project was more easily conceived than realized. The MSSA wanted to offer an open access journal that would be freely available to the public, but did not want to charge article processing fees. They also wanted to control the peer-review and editorial process. These priorities made it impossible to partner with an established academic publisher.

Production of the journal was stymied until a generous benefactor stepped forward to fund the project. The MSSA is now pleased to offer unrestricted access to this scholarly journal for all interested readers.

If you would like to help fund this project, you can join the Mormon Social Science Association, or donate to the MSSA here: