Kersten Priest

Associate Professor

Kersten Priest headshot

Ph.D.; MA



 ELDR 340-H


Behavioral Sciences


Social Work


 Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Kersten Bayt Priest is a sociologist of culture and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences. She is a child of immigrants and was raised in California. As a young married woman, she moved with her husband and children to Amazonia. While there she became convinced of the importance of integrating biblical truth with socio-cultural perspective in order to better understand people and global society. When her youngest son was a toddler, she returned to graduate school and completed degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology. Today she considers it a privilege to pursue projects and present papers on issues surrounding justice for vulnerable minorities, women, and children. Micah 6:8 is a consistent theme inside and outside her classes.


Dr. Priest has done qualitative ethnographic research in South Carolina, urban and suburban Chicago, Peru, South Africa, the Dominican Republic, and most recently, India. Over the years her research interests have included issues surrounding interracial worship and fellowship, and immigrant religious communities. Most recently she is examining how Christian women's short-term mission trips are establishing new patterns of global religion and resource connectedness.


  • Ph.D.
    2009, Loyola University
  • MA
    1998, University of South Carolina
  • BS
    1980, Columbia International University
Indiana Wesleyan University
4201 S. Washington St.
Marion, IN 46953