Jim Guth has taught at Furman since 1973. He has served as chair of the University Faculty (1987-89) and of the Political Science Department (1988-91), as well as on many faculty committees and task forces. A specialist in American politics, his recent work has assessed the impact of religion on the electoral process and on public policy in the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. Guth also initiated Furman’s Washington Internship program, which has sent more than a thousand Furman students to Washington since 1978. He has directed the program fifteen times, most recently in Spring 2013. The program has twice won the Washington Center’s Award for the outstanding small college program in the country. Guth has commented on American politics for CNN, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, ABC World News Tonight, All Things Considered, CBS Sunday Morning, the BBC and many other media outlets. From 1975 to 1979 Guth coached the Furman University wrestling team.


Name Title Description


Winning the White House

The race to win the presidency encompasses examination of competing political philosophies, political issues, the role of interest groups vying for political power and methods of campaigning.


Intro to Amer Government

The basic political science course focusing on American politics. Emphasis on the principles, institutions and politics of the federal government. Topics include: the U.S. Constitution, the presidency, Congress, the Supreme Court, political parties and interest groups, and the federal bureaucracy.


Intro to Political Analysis

The methodology of contemporary political science, including research techniques for studying political behavior.


Interest Grps & Politic Mvmnts

Analysis of the role of interest groups and political movements in the United States, with a focus on the origins, maintenance and strategies of these organizations.


Politics of Religious Movemnts

Effects of religious movements on the politics of modernizing societies, comparing Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Latin America.


Political Parties

Examination of political parties as they appear in established and emerging democracies. Special emphasis on U.S. political parties in comparative perspective.

  • The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009). (Co-editors: Corwin E. Smidt and Lyman A. Kellstedt)
  • The Bully Pulpit: The Politics of Protestant Clergy (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1997). (Co-authors: John C. Green, Lyman A. Kellstedt, Corwin A. Smidt, and Margaret M. Poloma)
  • Religion and the Culture Wars: Dispatches from the Front (Lanham MD and London: Rowman and Littlefield, 1996). (Co-editors: John C. Green, Lyman A. Kellstedt, and Corwin E. Smidt)
  • The Bible and the Ballot Box: Religion in the1988 Election (Boulder CO: Westview, 1991). (Co-editor: John C. Green)


  • "Religious Groups as a Force in American Party Politics," in William Crotty, ed. Party Polarization in the United States (Lynne Rienner, 2013, in press). (Co-author, Lyman A. Kellstedt)
  • "The Soul of the South: Religion and Southern Politics in the New Millennium," in Charles S. Bullock, III and Mark J. Rozell, ed. The New Politics of the Old South: An Introduction to Southern Politics, 5th ed. (Lanham MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2013, in press). (Co-authors: Lyman Kellstedt, Corwin Smidt, and John Green)
  • "Religion in the 2012 Election," in Janet Box-Steffensmeier and Steven E. Schier, ed. The American Elections of 2012 (New York and London Routledge, 2013), 190-214. (Co-author, Leigh A. Bradberry)
  • "Religion and Public Opinion on Security: A Comparative Perspective," in Chris Seiple, Dennis Hoover, and Pauletta Otis ed. Routledge Handbook of Religion and Security (New York and London: Routledge, 2013), 171-181
  • "Survey Research: Religion and Electoral Behavior in the United States, 1936-2008," in Political Science Research in Practice, ed. Akan Malici and Liz Smith (New York and London: Routledge, 2013), 93-110. (Co-author, Lyman A. Kellstedt.)
  • "Seculars and the 2008 Election," in Gaston Espinosa, ed. Religion, Race, and Barack Obama's New Democratic Pluralism (New York and London: Routledge, 2012), 149-165. (Co-author, Lyman A. Kellstedt.)
  • "The Religious Roots of Foreign Policy Exceptionalism," Review of Faith & International Affairs 10:2 (June 2012), 77-85
  • "The Religious Affiliation of Representatives and Support for Funding the Iraq War," Politics and Religion 4:3 (December 2011), 550-568. (Co-authors, Kenneth A. Wink, C. Don Livingston, and Todd Collins)
  • "Religious Interest Groups," in Burdett Loomis, Peter Francia, and Dara Strolovich, ed. Guide to Interest Groups and Lobbying in the United States (Washington DC: CQ Press, 2011), 239-249
  • "Obama, Religious Politics and the Culture Wars," in Steven Schier, ed. Transforming America: Barack Obama in the White House (Lanham MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2011), 77-100
  • "Religion and Political Behavior in the Sunbelt," in Darren Dochuck and Michelle Nickerson, ed. The Sunbelt Rising: The Politics of Space, Place, and Region (University Park PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011): 110-138. (Co-author, Lyman A. Kellstedt.)
  • "Religion and Roll Calls: Religious Influences on the U.S. House of Representatives," in Amy E. Black, Douglas L. Koopman, and Larycia Hawkins, ed. Religion and American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives (Boston: Longman, 2010): 278-284

selected publications 

for more articles, chapters and book reviews, see CV

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, 2013
  • Paul J. Weber Award for the Best Paper on Religion and Politics Presented at the 2007 Annual Meeting, American Political Science Association
  • Governor’s Distinguished Professor, South Carolina 2005
  • Alester G. and Janie Earle Furman Award for Meritorious Teaching, Furman University, 1990-1991
  • Association of Furman Students, Faculty Member of the Year, 1975-76.
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