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Ryan Murphy, Ph.D.

Ryan Murphy, Ph.D.

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Assistant Professor of Sociology
St. Joseph Hall 469

Ryan P. Murphy, Ph.D. holds a PH.D. in sociology from Temple University. As a sociologist, Dr. Murphy teaches courses that examine how social structures shape human behavior and how social institutions influence individual choices. Dr. Murphy’s research focuses on structural inequalities in the Catholic Church, with particular emphasis on how women religious respond to gendered constraints in the day-to-day. Dr. Murphy has published articles in peer-reviewed and non-academic journals and has presented papers at both National and International conferences. Dr. Murphy is married to his loving partner, Krista, and the couple have one son, William “Liam.” In his spare time, Dr. Murphy enjoys traveling, cooking, baking, running, and playing guitar.

Educational Background: 

Ph.D., Sociology, Temple University, 2017

M.A., Sociology, Temple University, 2014

M.S., Criminal Justice, Saint Joseph’s University, 2007

B.S., Food Marketing, Saint Joseph’s University, 2002


Courses Taught: 

Introduction to Sociology

Sociology of Health and Medicine

Social Inequality

Sociological Theory

Culture and Society

Globalization Through a Gendered Lens

Urban Poverty & Inequality


Scholarly Interests: 


Social Stratification

Gender & Sexuality

Sociological Theory


Social Inequality


Selected Publications: 

Murphy, Ryan P. 2022. “A Matter of Conscience: American Women Religious, Feminist Agency, and the Catholic Church.” Review of Religious Research 64(2):279-300.

Murphy, Ryan P. 2017. “The Hidden, Unconventional Missionary Spirit of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia.” American Catholic Studies 128(4):29-54.

Murphy, Ryan P. 2014. “Promises Unfulfilled: American Religious Sisters and Gender Inequality in the Post-Vatican II Catholic Church.” Social Compass 61(4):594-610.


Selected Presentations and Workshops: 

Murphy, Ryan P. 2022. “Martyrs of Charity: Philadelphia’s Religious Sisters’ Response to the 1918 Flu Pandemic.” Twelfth Triennial Conference on the History of Women Religious. University of Notre Dame, June. Notre Dame, IN.

Murphy, Ryan P. 2019. “Partners in Ministry and Mission: Women Religious and Associates.” Commemoration, Preservation, Celebration: Eleventh Triennial Conference on the History of Women Religious. St. Mary’s University, June. Notre Dame, IN.

Murphy Ryan P. 2018. “Wait, She’s One of Us!”: American Catholic Nuns, Gender, and Sexuality.” 113th American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August. Philadelphia, PA.

Murphy, Ryan P. 2018. “Sister, This is MY Church!” The Sisters of St. Joseph and Contested Sacred Space.” Space, Place, and the History of Women Religious. History of Women Religious of Britain and Ireland Conference, National University of Ireland at Galway, June. Galway, Ireland.

Murphy, Ryan P. 2017. “Few, Yet Ready for Any Good Work: Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia as Missionaries.” Too Small a World: Catholic Sisters as Global Missionaries, University of Notre Dame, April. South Bend, IN.

Murphy, Ryan P. 2016. “Corporate Stances as Lived Religion: The Sisters of St. Joseph and Social Justice Activism.” Whither Women Religious: Analyzing the Past, Studying the Present, Imagining the Future. Triennial Conference on the History Women Religious, Santa Clara University, June. Santa Clara, CA.

Murphy, Ryan P. 2015. “Claiming Our Prophetic Voice As Women.” Invited Keynote Address. ACSSJ Conference: Reimagining Mission in the Spirit of the C/SSJ Charism, Elms College, June. Chicopee, MA.

Murphy, Ryan P. 2015. “Reclaiming Their Prophetic Voice As Women: Feminist Consciousness and the Sisters of St. Joseph.” The Nun in the World: A Transnational Study of Catholic Sisters and the Second Vatican Council Conference, University of Notre Dame- London Global Gateway, May. London, UK.

Murphy, Ryan P. 2014. “Facing the Gendered Other: Women, Leadership, and the Church.” Facing Another: The Gift and Challenge of an Encounter Symposium, Chestnut Hill College, November. Philadelphia, PA.

Murphy, Ryan P. and Emily Schademan. 2014. “Moving Beyond the ‘Like’ Button- New Ways to Engage in Social Change.” NASPA 2014 Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement Conference, June. Miami, FL.

Murphy, Ryan P. 2013. “Promises Unfulfilled: A Sociological Perspective on Vatican II and Gender Inequality in the Catholic Church.” The Irrepressible Energy of the Spirit: Vatican II and Beyond Conference, Chestnut Hill College, April. Philadelphia, PA.

Murphy, Ryan P. 2011. “Best Practices in Living the Mission.” ACSSJ Conference, Fontbonne University, June. St. Louis, MO.

Murphy, Ryan P. and Krista Bailey Murphy. 2007. “Reflecting on Reflection.” Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development Conference, Gwynedd-Mercy College, February. Gwynedd Valley, PA.