Dr. Rodrigo Serrao

Assistant Professor of Sociology
Profile photo of Dr. Rodrigo Serrao

Dr. Rodrigo Serrão joined Hope College’s Department of Sociology and Social Work in 2020. His research, which has been published in both Brazil and the U.S., focuses on race and ethnicity, religion, and immigration. His work has appeared in esteemed publications such as Review of Religious Research, Latin American Perspectives, International Journal of Latin American Religions, Sociology of Religion, and Religião & Sociedade.

Currently, Dr. Serrão is engaged in a research project titled “Beyond Ethnicity: Perceptions of Racial Identity and Belonging Among Latinx Students.” This project explores how Latinx students perceive their racial identity in relation to privilege, racism, colorism and their sense of belonging within the context of a historically white college. The study also examines how these perceptions may differ based on the students’ skin color and place of origin.

In addition to his research, Professor Serrão has taught a range of courses, including Introduction to Sociology, Social Theory, Race and Ethnicity, Power and Society, Sociology of Religion, Senior Seminar, and Contemporary Social Problems.

AREAS OF Expertise

  • Sociology of race and ethnicity
  • Sociology of religion
  • Immigration
  • Inequality
  • Latin American / Latina/o sociology


  • Ph.D., sociology, University of South Florida, 2020
  • Graduate certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of South Florida, 2016
  • M.A., sociology, Universidade Federal da Paraiba, Brazil, 2014
  • M.Div., theology, Baylor University, 2008
  • B.A., biblical/theological studies, Baptist University of the Americas, 2005
  • B.S., accountancy, Universidade Federal da Paraiba, Brazil, 2001


  • Frost Center Fellowship, Hope College, 2023–2024
  • Cultural Champion Award, Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Hope College, 2022
  • Faculty Award, Latino Student Organization, Hope College, 2022
  • Winner, Graduate Paper Competition, Division on Racial and Ethnic Minorities of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, 2019
  • Keith Roberts Teaching Innovations Award, SAGE Publishing, 2019
  • Constant H. Jacquet Research Award, Title of the Grant Project, "Winning 'Americans' for Jesus?: Second-Generation, Racial Ideology, and the Future of the Brazilian Evangelical Church in the U.S," Religious Research Association, 2018

Selected Publications

  • “Are Brazilians Latinx? Historical and Sociological Considerations,” with João Chaves, The Latinx Experience: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, ed. by M. J. Villaseñor and H. Jimenez, Sage, 2023
  • “Transmitting Racism Through Religion?: Ethnic Transcendence and Colorblind Racism in Latina/o Congregations,” Perspectives in Religious Studies 49(4), 2022
  • “Evangelicismo Imigrante na Pandemia: Posições de Igrejas Evangélicas nos Estados Unidos,” with João Chaves in Religião em Tempos de COVID-19: Vírus, Biopoder e Vida. EdUENF, 2022
  • Negotiating Belonging: Race, Class, and Religion in the Brazilian Quest for ‘Becoming American,’” Sociology of Religion, 2022
  • Intergenerational transition in an Evangelical Church and a Spiritist Center in the United States: an initial analysis,” [published in Portuguese] Religião & Sociedade 41:195–216, 2022
  • "Racializing Region: Internal Colonialism, Social Media, and the Perpetuation of Stereotypes and Prejudice against Brazilian Nordestinos," Latin American Perspectives, 2020
  • "Immigrant Evangelicalism in the COVID-19 Crisis: Reactions and Responses," with João Chaves,  International Journal of Latin American Religions, 2020
  • "The Social Functions and Dysfunctions of Brazilian Immigrant Congregations in 'Terra Incognita'," with James Cavendish, Review of Religious Research, 2018
  • "From Brazil to the World: How Do Classic Weberian Concepts Help Understand the Successful Transnational Endeavors of Worldwide Church of God's Power?," with Flávia Pires (published in Portuguese), Ciências da Religião – História e Sociedade, 2014
  • "The Church as a Piece of Brazil: Transnational Religion in the Capital of Texas," with Flávia Pires (published in Portuguese), in Transnacionalização Religiosa: Religiões em Movimento, CirKula, 2014

Outside the College

Rodrigo Serrao is a native of Brazil, where he grew up surfing at the Brazilian northeastern coast's warm beaches. In West Michigan, he hasn't had a chance to surf at Lake Michigan yet, but he plans to do so. Although Dr. Serrao, his wife Adriana, and daughter Liz are from the tropics, they are excited about living in Holland. They love traveling, exploring, and also staying indoors, playing videogames and watching good movies.

Profile photo of Dr. Rodrigo Serrao
Dr. Rodrigo Serrao

Phone Number616.395.7084

Van Zoeren Hall Room 255B 41 Graves Place Holland, MI 49423
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