Joshua Ambrosius

Joshua Ambrosius is an urbanist social scientist, policy and political analyst, and Red Letter Christian. An Assistant Professor of Political Science and core faculty member in the Master of Public Administration program at the University of Dayton, a Catholic Marianist institution, he is also an affiliated fellow with the Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods at the University of Louisville. He previously taught at the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Louisville, and West Virginia State University. Dr. Ambrosius’ work is motivated by an overarching desire for long-term human sustainability. His policy interests include urban and housing policy, faith-based social policy, and space exploration. His research specifically explores regional government reforms, neighborhood housing markets, and religious preferences for institutional design, including how membership in religious organizations (such as the Catholic Church or Protestant megachurches) shapes views of community and societal governance.

His academic work has appeared in over a dozen peer-reviewed academic journals and been cited by many news outlets, including The Atlantic (and its CityLab website), The Week, and the Religion News Service. He has written for several websites including Red Letter Christians, the BioLogos blog, and the London School of Economics’ American Politics and Policy blog. His work has been funded by the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the Forum for the Catholic Intellectual Tradition at the University of Dayton. Professor Ambrosius’ recent study of religious publics’ perspectives on space exploration has received a great deal of attention. wrote two features on his research, each receiving thousands of Facebook “likes” and igniting passionate debate. His paper “Separation of Church and Space: Religious Influences on Public Support for U.S. Space Exploration Policy” appears in the May 2015 issue of the journal Space Policy. A reflective chapter on this work is being published in the anthology Touching the Face of the Cosmos: On the Intersection of Space Travel and Religion from Fordham University Press in March 2016 (also available now on Amazon Kindle).

His lecture at Chautauqua draws on this social scientific work as well as his own faith perspective and those of prominent religious voices, particularly friends (and skeptics) of space exploration within evangelicalism.

Dr. Ambrosius received his Ph.D. in public policy and administration from the School of Urban and Public Affairs at the University of Louisville. He previously earned a Master of Public Policy degree and a Certificate of Nonprofit Management from the Johns Hopkins University. His B.A. in political science and international studies, with minors in religion and philosophy, is from York College of Pennsylvania. Prior to entering academia, he worked as a community organizer in a major city, evaluated prisoner reentry programs for a federal agency, and coordinated outreach for a youth church movement.