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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

R. Gustav Niebuhr

Niebuhr portrait

Associate Professor


Religion and Media

481A NewHouse


Research and Teaching Interests

Over a 20-year career in journalism, most recently at the New York Times and, prior to that, at the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and the Atlanta Journal/Constitution, Gustav Niebuhr has established a reputation as a leading writer about American religion. His work has been published in books, magazines and on the internet; he also does occasional commentaries on religion for the National Public Radio program "All Things Considered." He has just finished working on a book about religious pluralism and interfaith relations in America. Professor Niebuhr holds a dual appointment with the Newspaper Journalism program in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.


REL 241 Religious Diversity in America
REL 242 Religious Issues in American Life
REL 343 American Religions and the News Media
NEW 405 Advanced Reporting


  • Oxford University, M.A. 1980
  • Pomona College, B.A. 1977


  • Associate Professor, Department of Religion, Syracuse University, 2004-present.
  • Visiting Fellow/Scholar in Residence, Princeton University, December 2001- December 2003.
  • National Correspondent, The New York Times, June 1994 to December 2001.
  • National Staff Writer, The Washington Post, October 1992 to May 1994.
  • Staff Writer, The Wall Street Journal, July 1989 to September 1992.


Book Chapters

  • Sources of Inspiration (Sheed & Ward, 1992).
  • The New York Times Guide to Unforgettable Weekends (Hungry Minds/Frommer, 2001).

Additional Articles

Published in The New York Times Magazine, The Carnegie Reporter, The Christian Century, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review and Working Woman.

Awards and Prizes

  • Honorary doctorate in humane letters, Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, Ill. 1997.
  • Distinguished Writer Award, Presbyterian Writers' Guild. 2000.
  • Religious Liberty Award, Associated Baptist Press. 1997.
  • Templeton Religion Writer of the Year Award, Religion Newswriters Association. 1993.
  • Supple Memorial Award, Religion Newswriters Association. 1993, 1991 and 1988.