USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

Richard Flory (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is senior director of research and evaluation at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture. He is a sociologist whose research focuses on religious and cultural change, religion and urban life, and the religious and spiritual lives of youth and young adults. He has published several books, including most recently, Religion in Los Angeles: Religious Activism, Innovation, and Diversity in the Global City (Routledge, 2021) and Back Pocket God: Religion and Spirituality in the Lives of Emerging Adults (Oxford University Press, 2020).

Professor Flory has been awarded over $7.5m for research and evaluation projects while at USC. He is currently principal investigator for the “Reimagining Church: Developing Thriving Congregations” project, a $1m project funded by the Lilly Endowment. The initiative works with Los Angeles area congregations to develop their capacities and capabilities as they seek to be congregations that thrive, both internally serving the needs of their members, and externally, in serving their communities. His research has been supported by grants from the John Templeton Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Lilly Endowment, the John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation, and the Louisville Institute.

Flory has written for publications such as Religion DispatchesThe Conversation, Patheos and Zócalo Public Square, and has been quoted by a variety of publications, including the L.A. Times, the New York Times, Buzzfeed News and NPR.

Areas of Expertise

  • Religious and cultural change
  • Youth and young adults
  • Urban life
  • Civic Engagement
  • Faith-Based Organizations
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Richard Flory