Angela Gorrell, Ph.D., assistant professor of practical theology, is the author of “Always On: Practicing Faith in a New Media Landscape,” which addresses the perils and possibilities of Christian faith in an era of massive technological change. She also is writing a book that addresses suicide and opioid addiction—America’s crisis of despair—and describes joy as the counteragent to despair.
Gorrell earned a bachelor’s degree in youth ministry from Azusa Pacific University and an M.Div. and Ph.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary. She came to Baylor from the Yale Center for Faith and Culture at Yale Divinity School, where she developed relationships with more than 250 scholars from roughly 150 institutions on four continents while managing metrics and evaluation for the project. She has more than 14 years of experience in congregational and parachurch ministry, including serving as a chaplain at a women’s maximum-security prison.
Areas of Expertise (9)
Theology and Contemporary Culture
Meaning-making and Storytelling
Violence and Peacebuilding
Teaching for Transformation
Mental and Emotional Health
Contemporary Visions of the Good and the Good Life
Addiction and Suicidal Ideation
Social Media and Technology
Joy and Suffering
Fuller Theological Seminary: Ph.D., Practical Theology
Azusa Pacific University: B.A., Youth Ministry
Fuller Theological Seminary: M.Div.
Media Appearances (7)
Schools may not open to students this fall, but churches might — for remote learning
Religion News Service online
Angela Gorrell, Ph.D., assistant professor of practical theology at Baylor and author of "Always On: Practicing Faith in a New Media Landscape," is quoted in this article about how some churches and their children’s and youth ministries are hoping to host remote-learning sites for small groups of socially distanced kids as a way to serve families and meet concrete needs.
Baylor Expert Shares Best Practices for Congregations to Create Participatory Online Worship Experiences
Baylor Media and Public Relations online
After more than a month into social distancing, many churches have moved from focusing on online services to focusing on improving the worship experience and community their congregants are seeking. Baylor University’s Angela Gorrell, Ph.D., assistant professor of practical theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary and the author of always on: practicing faith in a new media landscape, shares eight practices for congregations to create a more participatory online worship experience.
Falling Seed: Creating online participatory worship services
Baptist Standard online
Baylor theology professor Angela Gorrell, Ph.D., has designed a free guide to creating online, participatory worship services.
Social Media Spaces Can Be Instruments of God’s Unconditional Love, Theologian Says
Baylor Media and Public Relations online
Many of us are “always on” — scrolling through social media, checking email or searching the web, says Angela Gorrell, Ph.D., assistant professor of practical theology at Baylor’s Truett Seminary and author of “Always On: Practicing Faith in a New Media Landscape.” In this Q&A, Dr. Gorrell discusses some tools for understanding social media and enabling Christian communities to address its use in constructive ways.
Faith, Media & Living Our Theology (feat. Dr. Angela Gorrell)
CXMH Podcast radio
AUDIO: Truett Seminary professor Angela Gorrell, Ph.D., is a featured expert on this podcast co-hosted by Baylor Social Work professor Holly Oxhandler, Ph.D. Gorrell discusses how social media and other online technologies can shape our faith and our lives.
New & Noteworthy Books
Christianity Today online
Angela Gorrell's book "Always On" is listed as a New and Noteworthy Book by Christianity Today.
Always On: Practicing Faith in a New Media Landscape
In this inspired debut, author Angela Gorrell, Ph.D., offers research and timely tips on how to live a faithful life that glorifies God online and off. Gorrell begins with two goals: to educate readers on the potential power of new media, and to help them align their view of humanity more closely with God’s own. Gorrell cautions that always being connected on social media fosters a warped view of people as brands, commodities, or avatars. By considering “what Jesus would do” if he were online, the author helps readers think through how they can love others well, even in cyberspace.
The future of youth ministry requires practitioners who are prepared to nurture faithful living in a new media landscape. Therefore, youth ministry practitioners need to be equipped to teach theological new media literacy and to lead hybrid Christian communities. Youth ministry educators and practitioners need a way into this future that is both manageable and compelling. The way forward is interested conversation.
Given that social media extends both connection and suffering that occurs in physical spaces into digital spaces, issues of connection and suffering are increasingly integrated across people’s online and in-person lives. Spiritual care in a new media landscape necessitates spiritual care practitioners who are invested in listening to, exploring, and ministering to people's social media experiences, both their joys and their laments.
When reflecting on Cultivating Desire in Mississippi, I have more questions than answers. However, I wonder if, for the church in the United States and especially Los Angeles (where I live), lingering questions are part of God’s invitation for transformation. Questions are one of the most powerful ways we learn, grow, and go deeper into a subject.