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Angela Gorrell - Baylor University . Waco, TX, US

Angela Gorrell Angela Gorrell

Assistant Professor of Practical Theology | Baylor University


Author, theologian and expert in areas of theology and contemporary culture, education and formation, new media, and youth & emerging adults






Rev. Angela Gorrell, Ph.D., assistant professor of practical theology, Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary loading image


Rev. Dr. Angela Gorrell on Religious Community during Quarantine



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

Education (3)

Fuller Theological Seminary: Ph.D., Practical Theology

Azusa Pacific University: B.A., Youth Ministry

Fuller Theological Seminary: M.Div.

Media Appearances (10)

Leader receive tools to facilitate holistic Soldier care

Defense Visual Information Distribution Service  online


Angela Gorrell, Ph.D., assistant professor of practical theology, helped train Army chaplains on supporting soldiers’ spiritual wellness by developing a “personal life operating system.”

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Finding joy in 2020? It's not such an absurd idea, really

The Press of Atlantic City  online


Angela Gorrell, Ph.D., assistant professor of practical theology at Baylor’s Truett Seminary, discusses the role of joy in day-to-day life during periods of suffering. Gorrell also shares her thoughts in an article on BaptistStandard.com.

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Churches Plan to Host Students During Remote Learning

Christianity Today  online


Angela Gorrell, assistant professor of practical theology and author of “Always On: Practicing Faith in a New Media Landscape,” is quoted in this article about churches who provide socially distanced tutoring in small group settings for students learning remotely and serve as a resource for parents to work or attend to other responsibilities.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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New & Noteworthy Books

Christianity Today  online


Angela Gorrell's book "Always On" is listed as a New and Noteworthy Book by Christianity Today.

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Always On: Practicing Faith in a New Media Landscape

Publisher's Weekly  

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.

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Articles (3)

Hybrid Youth Ministry: Preparing Youth Ministry Practitioners to Traverse the New Media Terrain

Journal of Youth Ministry

Angela Gorrell


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.

Spiritual Care in a Social Media Landscape

Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling

Angela Gorrell


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.

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Questioning as Quest: Theological Reflections on Cultivating Desire in Mississippi

Journal of Missional Practice

Angela Gorrell


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.

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