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Jason M. Adkins

Department of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies
Montana State University Billings
1500 University Drive, LA 816
Billings, MT 59101
Mobile: (406) 657-2933


Ph.D.   Kent State University, Department of Political Science, 2018
Dissertation: Politics from the Pulpit: A Critical Test of Elite Cues in American Politics
Fields: American Politics and Policy, Transnational Politics and Policy

M.A.   East Stroudsburg University, Department of Political Science, 2012
Thesis: Breaking Bonds: Recent Developments on Separatism in the West

B.S.     Utah Valley University, Department of Communication, 2008
Emphasis: Journalism
Capstone Project: E-book on breaking into newspaper industry


Title: Politics from the Pulpit: A Critical Test of Elite Cues in American Politics

My dissertation explores how religious elites engage in “reverse God talk,” which are coded political cues that seek to influence members of denominations to support certain political candidates and/or parties, or influence congregants regarding various political issues. This is based on “God talk,” which are coded religious cues delivered by political elites. I also examine how the frequency and content of these coded political cues delivered by religious elites may differ among religious denominations based on a variety of institutional factors. My research design consists of examining historical archives of several religious denominations, employing an original survey experiment to test the effects of those cues, and using existing survey data to determine how hierarchal and other differences among denominations affect political attitudes and opinions.

Committee members: Ryan L Claassen (chair), Michael J. Ensley, Anthony D. Molina, and J. Quin Monson (external member).


Miles, Matthew, and Jason M. Adkins. Forthcoming. “Mormon Mobilization in Contemporary American Politics.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. (Oxford; Oxford University Press.


Encyclopedia Entry: Richard C.A. Holbrooke, American National Biography, 2016 (September 2018).

Book Review: Campbell, David E., John C. Green, and J. Quin Monson. 2015. Seeking the Promised Land: Mormons and American Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014). Journal of Politics 77 (2): E5-E6.


“Living in Zion: Testing the Effects of Religious Identity and Activity in Utah.”

“What Americans Know and Want: Probing The Link Between Political Knowledge and U.S. Foreign Policy.” (with Steven W. Hook)

“‘Heeding the Brethren’: An Analysis of Mormon Attitudes Towards Immigration in Utah.”


“Do the Sheep Follow the Shepherds?: A Survey Experiment on Elite Cues,” Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, 2018.

“Do Congregants Follow the Shepherd: Determining if Church Members Hold Same Beliefs As Religious Denominations,” Southern Political Science Association annual meeting, 2018

“Preaching Politics: How Religious Denominations Transmit Political Cues to their Members,” Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, 2017.

“‘Heeding the Brethren’: How Religious Cues Affect Immigration Attitudes in Utah,” Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, 2016.

“The One-Party State of Utah: What Is Driving Republican Control?” Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, 2015.


KTVQ TV (Billings, MT) “The Montana poll is back at MSU Billings with results expected by late October” (October 10, 2018)

KTVQ TV (Billings, MT) “Keeping an eye on Kavanaugh: MSUB political professor outlines what comes next” (October 8, 2018)


Peer Reviewer, Politics & Religion, Social Science Quarterly

Chair and Discussant, Southern Political Science Association annual meeting, 2018

Chair and Discussant, Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting, 2015-2018.


Director, Montana Poll, 2018, Montana State University Billings
Co-organizer – Mock Constitutional Convention, 2018, University of Wisconsin-Parkside

Parkside Access to College Credit political science supervisor, 2017, University of Wisconsin-Parkside

Political Science Graduate Student Association – Vice President, 2016 – 2017, Kent State University

Department of Political Science Graduate Studies Committee – Graduate Student Representative, 2016 – 2017, Kent State University

Student Media Policy Committee – Graduate Student Representative, Kent State University – 2013 – 2014, Kent State University


Presentation on Scottish Independence Referendum to Kent State Political Science Department, 2014


Stella C. Gray Teaching Excellence Award, University of Wisconsin-Parkside (nominated), 2018
Southern Political Science Association Artinian Travel Award ($500), 2018
Faculty/Academic Staff Professional Opportunities Fund, University of Wisconsin-Parkside ($900), 2017
Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives Lynn E. May Study Grant ($500), 2017
Thomas R. Hensley Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching, 2017
Kent State University Graduate Research Symposium, Best Presentation in Panel ($150), 2017


Society for the Scientific Study of Religion Student Research Award ($3,000), 2016
Kent State University Graduate Student Senate Research Award ($2,000), 2016


Assistant Professor, 2018 – present
Montana State University Billings; Billings, MT
PSCI 210: Introduction to American Government
PSCI 220: Introduction to Comparative Government
PSCI 342: Media, Public Opinion, Polling

Visiting Lecturer, 2017 – 2018
University of Wisconsin-Parkside; Kenosha, WI
POLS 100: American Politics
POLS 105: Introduction to Politics
POLS 200: Research Methods and Sources
POLS 214: Executive and Legislative Politics
POLS 224: American Foreign Policy
POLS 375: Campaigns and Political Participation
POLS 490: Special Topics (Religion and Politics)

Teaching Fellow, 2016 – 2017
Kent State University; Kent, OH
POL 10300: Public Policy
POL 30001: Research Methods

Adjunct Instructor, 2016
Ashland University, Ashland, OH
PLSC 102: Democracy in America

Teaching Assistant, 2014 – 2015
Kent State University; Kent, OH
POL 10500: World Politics
POL 40930: U.S. Foreign Policy
PADM 60381: Methods in Public Administration

Adjunct Instructor, 2013 – 2014
Ashford University; Clinton, IA
POL 201: American National Government

Adjunct Instructor, 2011– 2012
Northampton Area Community College; Bethlehem, PA
CMTH 102: Speech Communication

Teaching Assistant, 2012
East Stroudsburg University; East Stroudsburg, PA
POLS 120: American Government


Advanced Placement Essay Scorer, 2014 – present
Educational Testing Services, Salt Lake City, UT

Sports Reporter, 2010 – 2011
The Dickinson Press – Dickinson, ND

Online Reporter, 2008 – 2010
Detroit Lakes Newspapers – Detroit Lakes, MN


American Political Science Association (Religion & Politics, Canadian Politics section member)
Midwest Political Science Association
Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
Southern Political Science Association

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