L. D. Russell

Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies
Spence Pavilion-Religion/Phil. 210
2340 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
russelll@elon.edu (336) 278-5243

Professional Expertise

Religion and Culture

Brief Biography

L. D. Russell is a Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at Elon University, where he has taught in the areas of World Religions and Religion and Culture since 1993.  He is currently Faculty Advisor for Theta Alpha Kappa, the Religious Studies Honor Society, and for Students for Peace and Justice.  He also serves on the Peace and Conflict Studies Minor Advisory Board, the Global Neighborhood Association and the Faculty Athletics Committee.  He is a member in good standing of the American Academy of Religion and the Southeastern Conference for the Study of Religion. 

He received his BA in English from Furman University, his MDiv from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his MA in Religion from Wake Forest University.  He has also completed doctoral course work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  His book, Godspeed:  Racing Is My Religion, was published in 2007 by Continuum Books, a subsidiary of T&T Clark International.  His article, “Hip Hop: The Soundtrack of Revolution,” was published in The Journal of Teaching and Education, Vol. 1, No. 6, December, 2012.  For several years he was a Contributing Writer for The Independent Weekly.  Two of his short stories have appeared in Old Hickory Review and another in Blind Iguana Press.  His story, "The Whining," earned second prize in the 1993 North Carolina Writers' Network Fiction Competition, and his essay, "The Reflecting Eye," won the grand prize in the 2001 North Carolina Writers' Network Writers' Competition.  Russell is currently working on a book, Into the Mystic, on religion and rock & roll.


  • B.A. (1977, English) -- Furman University, Greenville, SC
  • M.Div. (1981, Theology) -- Southeastern Seminary, Wake Forest, NC
  • M.A. (1988, Religion) -- Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC

Employment History


Promoted to Senior Lecturer


Department of Religious Studies
Elon University
Elon, NC  27244


Adjunct Instructor
Department of Religious Studies
Elon University
Elon, NC  27244


Instructor, University Transfer Program
Durham Technical Community College
Durham, NC  27703

Courses Taught

REL 101 Introduction to Religious Studies
GST 110 The Global Experience
REL 102 World Religions
REL 110 Religion in a Global Context
REL 236 Religion and Racing
REL 237 Religion and Rock & Roll
REL 251 Sacred Spaces, Holy Places
GST 258  Nation or State: In Search of Hawaiian Identity

Leadership Positions

  • Chair, Religious and Spiritual Life Committee, 2010-2011
  • Faculty Advisor, Theta Alpha Kappa, Religious Studies Honor Society
  • Faculty Advisor, Students for Peace and Justice

Current Projects

  • Into the Mystic: Religion and Rock & Roll (book manuscript under development)



  • Godspeed: Racing Is My Religion, May, 2007, Continuum International


  • “Hip Hop: The Soundtrack of Revolution,” The Journal of Teaching and Education, Vol. 1, No. 6, December, 2012


  • “Hip Hop:  The Soundtrack of Revolution,” International Journal of Arts and Sciences Interdisciplinary Conference, Paris, France, April, 2012
  • “Death and the Afterlife in the World’s Religions,” Village at Brookwood, August, 2010

Professional Activities


  • American Academy of Religion (since 2005)
  • Southeastern Conference for the Study of Religion (since 2005)
  • Theta Alpha Kappa, National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology (since 2005)

Service Activities


  • Global Neighborhood Association, 2013-present
  • Peace and Conflict Studies Minor Advisory Board, 2011-present
  • Adjunct Affairs Subcommittee, 1995-present
  • Faculty Athletics Committee, 2011 (continuing)
  • Chaplain Search Committee, 2010-2011
  • Multi-Faith Center Committee, 2009-2010
  • Anti-Slavery Coalition, 2006-2008

Student Service Trips

  • Group co-leader, Spring Break in Taize, France, 3/10 and 3/11
  • Group co-leader, Spring Break in Turtle Island, North Carolina

Professional Development

  • Workshop for Instructors of Religion at Two-Year Institutions, Georgia Perimeter College, Atlanta, Georgia, 4/2011
  • Association of American Colleges & Universities Global Learning Forum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 3/2010


  • 2008 Most Influential Professor Award, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Elon University
  • 2003 Semester Scholar Award, Pi Kappa Phi, Elon University
  • 2001 North Carolina Writers' Network Short Essay Competition -- Grand Prize
  • 1993 North Carolina Writers' Network Fiction Competition -- Second Prize