Fellows & Grantees

Trent Ollerenshaw

Religion, Spirituality, and Democratic Renewal Program 2023
Project Title
Politics and Polarization in the United Methodist Church: A Text Analysis of Sermons
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award)
Duke University


Trent Ollerenshaw is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at Duke University. His research focuses on American racial and ethnic politics, public opinion formation, and political polarization. In his project, Ollerenshaw will pair computational text-as-data methods with a large sermon corpus to study how North Carolina Methodist pastors navigated political polarization and social tensions between 2020 and 2021. His analyses will focus on particularly salient socio-political issues during this period, including the COVID-19 pandemic, racial justice protests, and the 2020 Black Lives Matter Movement, the 2020 presidential election, and the January 6th Capitol riots.