LARAMIE, Wyoming— A recognized leader in the field of American religious studies will discuss “Locating Mormonism on the American Religious Landscape” on Thursday, Oct. 5, at 7 the University of Wyoming College of Education auditorium.

Jan Shipps, professor emerita of history and religious studies at Indiana University — Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) and current president of the American Society of Church History, will be the speaker.

“She has made a profound impact on the study of merica’s religious history,” says Quincy Newell, assistant professor in the UW Religious Studies Program. “Although she has never been a Mormon, Shipps is a recognized authority on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

At IUPUI, Shipps taught in history and religious studies for 25 years. She was a founding co-editor of Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation, and directed the IUPUI Center for American Studies for ten years. Shipps also made history by serving as the first non-Mormon and first woman president of the Mormon History Association.

In addition to many articles and reviews for both popular and scholarly periodicals, she is the author of Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition, which continues to be used as a text in religious studies and history courses at many universities. 

Shipps served as senior editor for The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831-1836, which resulted in the publication of the earliest Mormon journals. Two historical associations honored her for documentary editing.  Additionally, she received the “Best Book” award from the Mormon History Association for her most recent book, Sojourner in the Promised Land: Forty Years Among the Mormons.

Now retired from teaching, Shipps is focusing her attention on modern Mormonism for a forthcoming book, Being Mormon: The Latter-Day Saints since World War II.

The UW talk is part of a larger lecture series titled “The Latter-day Saints and Their World,” which began last February with a lecture by Raphael Jospe of Bar Ilan University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem on “Jews and Mormons: Similarities and Differences.” The series will continue in the spring with a lecture by Richard Bushman of Columbia University on “Joseph Smith’s Place in History.”

For more information on this event, please contact Professor Paul Flesher, Director of the UW Religious Studies Program, at or 307/766-3204.  More information can also be found at