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Brian Howell, Ph.D. - Wheaton College. Wheaton, IL, US

Brian Howell, Ph.D. Brian Howell, Ph.D.

Professor of Anthropology | Wheaton College


Dr. Howell is particularly interested in tourism, short-term missions, study abroad, and trends in non-western Christianity.



Brian Howell, Ph.D. Publication Brian Howell, Ph.D. Publication Brian Howell, Ph.D. Publication




Brian Howell and Christine Colón | Reforming Wheaton's General Education Requirements Brian M. Howell, author of Short-Term Mission




Dr. Howell is particularly interested in courses dealing with global Christianity, culture theory and inequality as well as anthropology and popular culture, and strives to incorporate such issues into his courses. Dr. Howell and his wife Marissa Sabio reside in Wheaton with their three children and are active church members. Some of Dr. Howell's hobbies include scuba diving, tennis and piano.

Education (4)

Washington University in St. Louis: Ph.D., Sociocultural Anthropology 2002

Dissertation: "At Home in the World: Philippine Baptists and the Creation of Context".

Washington University in St. Louis: M.A., Sociocultural Anthropology 1997

Fuller Theological Seminary: M.A., Cross-Cultural Studies, Concentration : Anthropology 1995

Wesleyan University: B.A., Undergraduate Studies 1991

Areas of Expertise and Research Interests (11)

Short-Term Missions Globalization Global Christianity Filipino Protestantism Race Relations in American Christianity Anthropology of Religion Anthropology in Popular Culture Culture Theory Inequality Tourism Study Abroad

Accomplishments and Awards (3)

Senior Scholarship Achievement Award (professional)


Awarded by Wheaton College.

Faculty Achievement Award (Nomination) (professional)


Awarded by Wheaton College, 2009, 2010, 2011.

Bosscher-Hammond Prize for Faith and Vocation Integration (professional)


Semifinalist, sponsored by InterVarsity.

Professional Affiliations (4)

  • American Anthropological Society (AAA) : Member
  • American Ethnological Society : Member
  • Society for the Anthropology of Religion : Member
  • Society of Urban and Transnational Anthropology : Member

Languages (3)

  • Spanish high-intermediate speaking and reading
  • Tagalog intermediate speaking and reading
  • German low-intermediate reading

Media Appearances (1)

Martyrs in the Time of the Charity Selfie

The Wall Street Journal  online


Such health risks, though still considerable, have lessened, thanks to improved medical care and the ability to evacuate if trouble arises. According to Wheaton College's Brian Howell, more and more of today's cross-cultural workers, as missionaries are also called these days, are short-term technical specialists. They can be deployed quickly to international hot spots and, with luck, just as quickly removed...

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Presentations and Event Appearances (4)

Whence and Whither the Anthropology of Christianity

CURA: Institute for Culture, Religion and World Affairs  Boston, MA


Short Term Mission in the Church Today

Broom Missions Colloquium  Abilene Christian University


Keynote Speaker

Midwest Classics of Christian Reformed Church  Palos Heights, IL


The Importance of Anthropology for Missiology: The case of Short Term Missions

American Missiological Society  St Paul, MN


Academics and Published Research (2)

Courses Taught

- Introduction to Anthropology
- Anthropology through Film
- Globalization
- Culture Theory
- Culture, Travel, and Tourism
- Power and Gender in Southeast Asia


My research interests are in the intersections of culture, globalization and Christianity. I consider myself broadly to be an anthropologist of religion, but my publications have largely been aimed specifically at Christianity as a global/transnational phenomenon, drawing in history, popular culture, congregational studies, and narrative analysis. Since finishing my dissertation at Washington University in St. Louis in 2002, I have published on Philippine Baptists, U.S. Evangelicals, and Short-Term Missions. I am also interested in research on the teaching and pedagogy of anthropology and social engagement.

Select Articles, Chapters, Reviews, and Other Publications (1)

See CV linked above for a listing of publications and presentations ------