Norris Chumley

Norris J. Chumley, Ph.D., is an author, lecturer, professor, and executive producer of many books, films, television movies, radio series, and documentaries on religion and spiritual practices for PBS, A&E, HBO/Cinemax, Showtime/The Movie Channel, HarperOne, National Public Radio (PRX), and on multiple digital and social media platforms. Most recently Dr. Chumley wrote and directed Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer (, a book and feature film on prayer and monasticism seen in theaters and on 249 PBS stations from American Public Television (APT). He is Executive Producer/Host for Columbia University’s Rethinking Religion radio series from the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life. Dr. Chumley is also Chairman of Manhattan Neighborhood Networks (MNN), and is an adjunct instructor at New York University’s Kanbar School of Film and Television.

Posts by Norris Chumley

August 22, 2013

A Life With God in Prayer

As a professor and journalist my primary academic focus is about researching and reporting on how people interact with God. The direct experience of God has been of endless interest to me my entire life, probably since the moment my caretaker told me about prayer, and how it was possible to speak with God by praying.

June 4, 2013

The Ivory Tower in Cyberspace

When I went back to graduate school in my 40s, I took with me years of having produced films, network TV programs, and a mass-market book. I thought the theological faculty would be impressed.

March 4, 2013

"Rethinking Religion" wins Wilbur Award

My national public radio series, “Rethinking Religion: Harlem Renaissance – Music, Religion and the Politics of Race” from Columbia University’s Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life has won the prestigious Religion Communicators Council 2013 Wilbur Award for Best Radio Series. The programs are in collaboration with Columbia University Professors Josef Sorett and Obery Hendricks.

February 26, 2013

Rethinking Religion: Prayer from Antiquity to Modernity

Columbia University’s Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life (IRCPL) will produce three one-hour national public radio programs on prayer, as part of its media project “Rethinking Religion.” “Rethinking Religion” brings together religious leaders, practitioners, cultural figures, policy makers, journalists, and research scholars to reflect on the roles, places, and forms of religion.