Chris Hedlin is a reporter for PublicSource focusing on religion. She comes to PublicSource through the American Council of Learned Societies’ Leading Edge Fellowship program, which pairs scholars of religion with nonprofit organizations serving public needs. Chris enjoys studying complex issues at the local level and translating that research into compelling stories. As a specialist in the history of US religions and literature, Chris is attuned to the unprecedented threats facing organized religion in the era of COVID-19. She recognizes how, with houses of worship emptied and budgets stretched thin, religious communities must take new forms to survive. She is also invested in the beat for personal reasons: as the daughter of a minister, she has witnessed firsthand the challenges and opportunities facing today’s religious organizations—the calls to stretch, sacrifice, innovate, and save.
Chris received her PhD in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her BA in English and Spanish from Augustana College in Illinois. Prior to coming to PublicSource, Chris taught and researched at Azusa Pacific University in California and Valparaiso University in Indiana.