Kristina Micu

Social Movements | Religion  

I am a Doctoral student in the Global Urban Studies Ph.D. program at Rutgers University-Newark. I earned an MA in International Affairs at New School University. I am an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Sociology and Urban Studies at Saint Peter’s University. 


My research investigates how collective action is constructed and agency is generated despite various conflicting and overlapping associations. I critically examine the structural factors, processes and strategies that mediate the formation of collective action as well as the cultural factors and meanings  that propels groups of individuals to mobilize.


My research focuses on faith communities, specifically local christian churches, in relation to one another and its relation to other secular institutions. I argue that an analysis of the christian faith, and the ways in which churches operate can increase knowledge in collaboration and partnership.


My study is part of a larger research agenda that seeks to intersect religious studies and social movement literature in order to understand how churches, as collective religious expressions, propels individuals to come together and act collectively despite differences of interest. 


Being an active member in my local church is what led me to pursue my doctoral research. I observed how local churches carried out community initiatives like food drives, coat drives, ESL teaching, building houses and hosting after-school programs and vacation bible school for children. At the global level, state governments, international and non-governmental organizations are mobilizing to provide humanitarian aid, counseling, food, water and shelter, often relying on religious institutions like local churches to carry out much of the aid and project initiatives at the grassroots level.


As an active church member and believer myself, the experience of working together with various local and global organizations, and networking with different entities both in my surrounding community and in other parts of the world motivated me to dig deeper into understanding how cooperation can increase despite differences of interest.


My research goal is to highlight not only the structures and networks of local churches but to also bring to the fore the Christian Faith and their religious beliefs as it undergirds their motivation to multiply and mobilize. With this goal, I hope to move beyond a structural analysis of local churches and assess the points of convergence within these coalitions and the causal potency behind these relationships. By doing so, my work is aimed towards deepening the discourse on collaboration in order to bridge divisions, increase cooperation, and generate a more profound impact on the work that local churches do. 

Rutgers University

May 2024

Ph.D. Student, Global Urban Studies 
Collective Action, Social Movements & Religion


New School University

May 2016
Master of Arts in International Affairs 
Specialization: Conflict & Security  

Saint Peter’s University

May 2008

Bachelor of Arts, Summa Cum Laude
Major: Sociology and Urban Studies     

Saint Peter’s University

Undergraduate Courses
Department of Sociology & Urban Studies
Race and Ethnicity (2021)
Intercultural Relations (2017, 2019, 2020)
Global Feminisms (2018)
Introduction to Sociology (2017, 2018)