for Entrepreneurs with Religious Trauma


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Emily Ann Peterson - photo by Rah Foard (2 of 69)

Dear Brave Entrepreneur,

Hi, my name is Emily Ann Peterson. I'm a business coach & consultant for entrepreneurial survivors coping with the effects of religious trauma. I run my business differently than many folx. (For example, I don't do "sales calls" & I deeply value financial accessibility.)

On this page are some of the self-hosted and outside resources that I frequently reference while working with business owners like you. Everything on this page is freely available because:

  1. Religious trauma suuuuuuucks, doesn't it?! If we can stop/slow the cycle of your trauma and boost your business/career in the process, then research shows that this has an exponentially positive effect on resolving the world's trauma. Uhh... YES please!
  2. You're my people! I'm a religious trauma survivor too. I'm always game to throw down a 90's worship song reference and get nerdy about religious trauma.
  3. For anti-rape culture and trauma-sensitive reasons, I don't require an email address in exchange for "freebies." Of course, you're welcome to consensually join our non-spammy newsletter here. :-)

There's so much more where this came from! If you ever want to schedule a coffee or networking chat, I'd absolutely be down for that. 

~ Emily Ann Peterson

2019 Black EAP Logo

PS - Feel free to share this page with whomever you'd like or connect with me on LinkedIn!

Book a Meet-n-Greet

Books & Recommended Reading

for business owners with religious trauma

Learn About Our Books

View Our Religious Trauma Book List  


Coaching Offerings

for Entrepreneurs, Small Business Owners & Freelancers with Religious Trauma

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View All Offerings

A La Carte Business Coaching
If you're facing a season of bravery are seeking coaching support, either one-time or ongoing, this will likely be your best bet amongst our offerings. Entrepreneurs interested in this  offering can schedule a Meet-N-Greet to get the ball rolling with a super chill, no-strings-attached coffee chat. More info here.
Book Clubs
We host regular book clubs on a range of topics: Anti-Racism, Anti-Hustle, Courageous Creativity, and more! Depending on the book club topic, attendees receive facilitated discussion and group coaching. Reserve your seat for a month at a time or longer. More info here.
The Client Calculator
This fierce little bundle of reusable digital worksheets is for pricing decisions, time management woes & financial strategy support. Client-based financial stuff can make it tricky to find your business bravery and one solution for this is to get the nerdy number work done for you! More info here.
Website Audit

Do you have a website? Do you (secretly) worry that it sucks? Or maybe you know it doesn’t do you and your awesome work justice? Easy! You'll walk away from your 45-min Website Audit with a tangible list of tiny improvements and the confidence to put yourself out there! More info here.


Mental Health Resources

for Brave Entrepreneurs with Religious Trauma


Therapist Directories
Therapists & Mental Health Professionals


Podcast Episodes

Our podcast, Bare Naked Bravery, featured some truly wonderful people over the years. I've collected some of the episodes which I think mental health helpers and healers like you might *particularly* enjoy. ;-)

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Podcast Series & Long-Form Stories


It can be extremely freeing and empowering to hear echoes of your own experience in others' stories. It can also be a minefield for triggers. Please carefully listen to your own needs while listening to the stories below. You're also free to send us an email if you'd like help in pre-vetting content. :-)

The Turning: The Sisters Who Left—Thousands of women gave up everything to follow Mother Teresa, joining her storied Catholic order, the Missionaries of Charity. But some found that life inside this fiercely private religious order was not what they’d imagined...

The Other Latif—Throughout this award-winning investigation of Detainee 244 at Guantanamo Bay, Radiolab’s Latif Nasser reflects on American values and his own religious past, and wonders how this prisoner could be his namesake, a fellow nerdy, suburban Muslim kid, yet travel such a strikingly different path...

American Queer—This podcast memoir tells of a gay man's journey out of fundamentalist Christianity into becoming his true self, as told by Kevin James Thornton. (Random fact: Kevin is one of my Nashville neighbors, cool!)

The Opportunist—Each season of this series asks questions like, how does an everyday person turn into a thief, a scammer or a cult leader? Season 1 dives into the story of internet cult leader, Sherry Shriner. Season 2 follows a pharmacist who carried out a decades-long deadly fraud that became the FBI's top priority.

Guru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment—When we face challenges in life, we seek answers from people we believe can help us. When tragedy strikes an exclusive retreat with a self-help superstar, many people are left to wonder: how far is too far? This podcast tells the story of James Arthur Ray who was a celebrity self-help "guru" and an Oprah-endorsed teacher. But friends and family members of his followers questioned his unorthodox methods, and tried to stop him. 

Conviction Season 2: American Panic—When John Quinney was ten years old, he took the stand to testify against his own father. He had come to believe that his dad Melvin was the murderous leader of a satanic cult. It would be decades before John would learn that his family was just one of many...

Podcasts From Our Friends & Niche-mates

We love that these peeps are out there being brave and doing their thing for the world in podcast format! Anything you see is either a podcast I love just-because or hosted by: a personal friend, a beloved colleague, a niche-mates whose work I applaud, or a person/show you might want to know exists in the world! 

The podcasts below are grouped by category and listed in no particular order.

By the way, it would be impossible to endorse every word, every career, or every product represented by these shows. Please use your badass internal-navigation to guide your listening. ;-)

Oh, and if you have suggestions to add to the list, send me an email! 

Happy podcast listening!

Re: Business & Money Stuff

Re: Trauma & General Mental Health

Re: DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) & Anti-Racism

Re: Sex, Sexuality, Purity Culture & Body-Image

Re: Religion, Religious Trauma & Cults

Re: Miscellaneous or Fun & Adventurous Nerdery

Online Resources

for Brave Entrepreneurs with Religious Trauma

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under construction! come back soon for more or send me an email if you see something missing!

From Our Blog

Outside Resources 


Scholarly Articles

for Brave Entrepreneurs with Religious Trauma

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Connect with Emily Ann Peterson on!

Adverse Religious Experiences (AREs)

The Effects of Religion on Depression and Suicide Rates in the United States by Enomoto, C. E., Djaba, T., & Noor, S. A. in the  Journal of Philosophy, Culture and Religion, Vol. 23, 2016

Christian religious functioning and trauma outcomes article by Harris, J. I., Erbes, C. R., Engdahl, B. E., Olson, R. H. A., Winskowski, A. M., & McMahill, J. in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 64(1), 17–29, 2008

Suzanne van Geuns (2019) Reading, feeling, believing: online testimonies and the making of Evangelical emotion, Journal of Contemporary Religion, 34:1, 97-115, "Online written testimony relies on compelling storytelling to move readers, making them practice what it feels like to hand over part of one’s own story to God."

Deconstructing Evangelicalism: A Letter to a Friend and a Professor's Guide to Escaping Religious Fundamentalism book by Hübner, J. A. Hills Publishing Group, 2020

From Autonomy to Divinity: The Cultural Socialization of Moral Reasoning in an Evangelical Christian Community, journal article byDiBianca Fasoli, A. (2018), Child Dev, 89: 1657-1673.

Johnson, J. (2010). The Citizen-Soldier: Masculinity, War, and Sacrifice at an Emerging Church in Seattle, Washington. Political and Legal Anthropology Review, Vol.33 (2): 326-351.

Johnson, J. Megachurches, Celebrity Pastors, and the Evangelical Industrial Complex in Religion and Popular Culture in America, 3rd Ed,, eds. Bruce Forbes and Jeffrey Mahan (University of California Press, March 2017).

Anxiety and Avoidance in Adults and Childhood Trauma Are Associated with Negative Religious Coping article by Kosarkova, A., Malinakova, K., van Dijk, J. P., & Tavel, P. from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(14), 5147, 2020

Why Worry about Evolution? Boundaries, Practices, and Moral Salience in Sunni and Evangelical High Schools journal article by Jeffrey Guhin in Sociological Theory, vol. 34, no. 2, 2016, pp. 151–174

Caste-Sensitive Church Planting: Revisiting the Homogeneous Unit Principle journal article by Mark Pickett in Transformation, vol. 32, no. 3, 2015, pp. 177–187

Diversity, Donations, and Disadvantage: The Implications of Personal Fundraising for Racial Diversity in Evangelical Outreach Ministries journal article by Samuel L. Perry in Review of Religious Research, vol. 53, no. 4, 2012, pp. 397–418

De-Doxifying Miriam chapter by Alice Bach in A Wise and Discerning Mind: Essays in Honor of Burke O. Long, 2020, pp. 1–10

The Politicization of Family Life: How Headship Became Essential to Evangelical Identity in the Late Twentieth Century journal article by Anneke Stasson in Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation, vol. 24, no. 1, 2014, pp. 100–138

Love of Neighbor in the Face of Religious Trauma chapter by Firestone, R. from the book The Future of Interfaith Dialogue: Muslim-Christian Encounters Through A Common Word, 2018

Religious and Spiritual Factors and the Consequences of Trauma: A Review and Model of the Interrelationship article by Schaefer, F. C., Blazer, D. G., & Koenig, H. G. from The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 38(4), 507–524, 2008

Influence of a Conservative Religious Upbringing on the Content of Psychosis paper by Ella Chrelashvili, La Salle University

Toxic Theology as a Contributing Factor in Complicated Mourning by Terri Daniel, DMin, in the Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling: Advancing Theory and Professional Practice through Scholarly and Reflective Publications, 73(4), 196–204, 2019

Elisha, O. (2008). Faith beyond Belief: Evangelical Protestant Conceptions of Faith and the Resonance of Anti-humanism. Social Analysis, 52(1), 56–78. 

Wilcox, C. (2003). Laying Up Treasures in Washington and in Heaven: The Christian Right and Evangelical Politics in the Twentieth Century and Beyond. OAH Magazine of History, 17(2), 23–29.

The Art of Hearing God: Absorption, Dissociation, and Contemporary American Spirituality by T. M. Luhrmann in Spiritus 5: 133–157, 2005 by The Johns Hopkins University Press

de Witte, M., de Koning, M., & Sunier, T. (2015). Aesthetics of Religious Authority: Introduction. Culture and Religion, 1–8, 2015

Sexual Abuse in Religion

Clergy Sexual Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. Exploring Contextual Factors journal article by Demasure, K. in Catholic Approaches in Practical Theology. International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives, CCLXXXVI, 153–166, 2016

Sexual Violence at Christian and Secular Universities: Does Institutional Type Matter? journal article by Foubert, J. D., Durham, A., Houston, M., & Vanderwoerd, J. in Christian Higher Education, 1–14, 2020

Sexual Violence on Religious Campuses journal article by Vanderwoerd, J. R., & Cheng, A. in the Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 47(2), 1–21, 2017

Adults Recovering from Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Salutogenic Approach thesis by Cunnington C. at the University of Sheffield, 2020

Work, Vocation, Employment

Exploring the Communication of Evangelical Families: The Association Between Evangelical Gender Role Ideology and Family Communication Patterns, journal article by Colleen Warner Colaner (2009), Communication Studies, 60:2, 97-113

Should Women Return Home? The Interactive Effects of Sexism and Economic Confidence, journal article byLi, Q., Huang, D., & Cui, M. (2012), Social Behavior and Personality, 40(3), 527-528. 

The Baby Blanket or the Briefcase: The Impact of Evangelical Gender Role Ideologies on Career and Mothering Aspirations of Female Evangelical College Students, journal article by Colaner, C. W., & Giles, S. M. (2008), Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 58(7-8), 526-534. 

‘I Want There to be no Glass Ceiling:’ Evangelicals’ Engagements with Class, Education, and Urban Childhoods. journal article by Strhan, A. (2017), Sociological Research Online, 22(1), 146–160. 

Sexism, Vocational Goals, and Motivation as Predictors of Men's and Women's Career Choice, journal article by Lameiras Fernandez, M., Rodriguez Castro, Y., Calado Otero, M., Foltz, M. L., & Gonzalez Lorenzo, M. (2006), Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 55(3-4), 267-272. 

The category of the culture of work as vocation: The proposal of the Evangelical Church in Germany for the current upheavals in the world of work, journal article by Kopiec, P. (2021) in HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, 2.

Spirituality and well‐being: ‘New Age’ and ‘evangelical’ spiritual expressions among young people and their implications for well‐being journal article by Jacqueline Hodder (2009) in International Journal of Children's Spirituality, 14:3, 197-212

Social Capital, Race, and Personal Fundraising in Evangelical Outreach Ministries, journal article by Perry, S.L. (2013) in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 52: 159-178. 

Evangelicalism + Business + Marketing

A Culture of Entitlement: Cult Indoctrination Tactics and Consent Violations in American Christianity thesis by Wilson, C. Chicago Theological Seminary, 2021

Selling Soap and Salvation’: Billy Graham’s Consumer Rhetoric in Germany and the United States in the 1950s journal article by by Uta Balbier in American Studies, vol. 59, no. 2, 2014, pp. 137–152

The Influence of Religiosity on Consumer Ethical Judgments and Responses Toward Sexual Appeals journal article by Sanjay Putrevu and Krist Swimberghek in Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 115, no. 2, 2013, pp. 351–365

Ritual Abuse and Mind Control book by Orit Badouk Epstein, Joseph Schwartz, and Rachel Wingfield Schwartz in book titled Ritual Abuse and Mind Control, 155–168, 2011

Consumer Responses to Christian Religious Symbols in Advertising journal article by Valerie A. Taylor, et al. in the Journal of Advertising, vol. 39, no. 2, 2010, pp. 79–92

Leary, R. B., Minton, E. A., & Mittelstaedt, J. D. Thou Shall Not? The Influence of Religion on Beliefs of Stewardship and Dominion, Sustainable Behaviors, and Marketing Systems. Journal of Macromarketing, 36(4), 457–470, 2016 "Stewardship beliefs in turn positively influence one’s tendency to engage in sustainable behavior, while dominion does not."

More Titillated Than Thou: How the Amish Conquered the Evangelical Romance Market journal article by Ann Neumann in The Baffler, no. 28, 2015, pp. 148–157

She Works Hard(Er) for the Money: Gender, Fundraising, and Employment in Evangelical Parachurch Organizations journal article by Samuel L. Perry in Sociology of Religion, vol. 74, no. 3, 2013, pp. 392–415.

Kreft J., Boguszewicz-Kreft (2021). Experience Marketing in the Service of the “Secular Religion” of Big Tech, 37th IBIMA Conference, 1-2 April 2021 Cordoba, ISBN: 978-0- 9998551-6-4, p. 10598 – 10605.

Minton, E. A. (2015). In Advertising We Trust: Religiosity's Influence on Marketplace and Relational Trust. Journal of Advertising, 44(4), 403–414. "Most religious consumers are more trusting of advertising than nonreligious consumers are. Advertisers need to seek a balance between targeting religious because of a heightened sense of trust yet not taking advantage of these more trusting consumers. In addition to advertising ethics, this research provides insight to advertisers in integrating belief cues into advertisements. Thus, advertisers need to understand the religious composition of their target market and be aware of the differential influence of belief cues on product evaluations for religious versus nonreligious consumers. Advertisers desiring to offer brand extensions to niche religious markets may be able to do so through use of subtle belief cues, which will likely not detract from a neutral religious stance of a brand as a whole."

Narnia as a Site of National Struggle: Marketing, Christianity, and National Purpose in ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ journal article by James Russell Cinema Journal, vol. 48, no. 4, 2009, pp. 59–76

Christianity Today’, J. Howard Pew, and the Business of Conservative Evangelicalism journal article bby Darren E. Grem Enterprise & Society, vol. 15, no. 2, 2014, pp. 337–379

How to Win Friends and Convert People: Onnie Jay Holy and the Sales Culture of American Evangelicalism journal article by Michael D. Odom in Flannery O’Connor Review, vol. 11, 2013, pp. 123–135

Why Evangelicals Like Wal-Mart: Education, Region, and Religious Group Identity journal article by Rebekah Peeples Massengill in Sociology of Religion, vol. 72, no. 1, 2011, pp. 50–77

Bigger, Better, Louder: The Prosperity Gospel’s Impact on Contemporary Christian Worship journal article by Kate Bowler and Reagan Wen in Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation, vol. 24, no. 2, 2014, pp. 186–230.

The Influence of Christian Religiosity on Managerial Decisions Concerning the Environment journal article by Cui, Jinhua, et al. in the Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 132, no. 1, 2015, pp. 203–231.

Branding as a Response to the ‘Existential Crisis’ of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland book chapter by Katja Valaskivi

Leary, R. B., Minton, E. A., & Mittelstaedt, J. D. Thou Shall Not? The Influence of Religion on Beliefs of Stewardship and Dominion, Sustainable Behaviors, and Marketing Systems. Journal of Macromarketing, 36(4), 457–470, 2016

Saffer, A. (2021). Promoting the Faith: Examining Megachurches' Audience-Centric Advertising Strategies on Social Media. Journal of Advertising. "Advertisers looking to increase online engagement should focus their efforts on persuasive messages that include the object-audience engagement strategy."

McAlexander, J. H., Dufault, B. L., Martin, D. M., & Schouten, J. W. (2014). The Marketization of Religion: Field, Capital, and Consumer Identity. Journal of Consumer Research, 41(3), 858–875. "Consumers face severe crises of identity and the need to rebuild their self-understandings in an unfamiliar marketplace of identity resources. Unable to remain comfortably in the field of their primary socialization, they are nevertheless bound to it by investments in field specific capital. In negotiating this dilemma, they demonstrate the inseparability and co-constitutive nature of ideology and consumption."

McKinnon, A. M. (2013). Ideology and the Market Metaphor in Rational Choice Theory of Religion: A Rhetorical Critique of ‘Religious Economies.’ Critical Sociology, 39(4), 529–543. 

Martin, P. P., Bowles, T. A., Adkins, L. T., & Leach, M. T. (2011). Black Mega-Churches in the Internet Age: Exploring Theological Teachings and Social Outreach Efforts. Journal of African American Studies, 15(2), 155–176. 

Burroughs, B., & Feller, G. (2015). Religious Memetics: Institutional Authority in Digital/Lived Religion. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 39(4), 357–377. 

Wade, M. (2015). Seeker-friendly: The Hillsong megachurch as an enchanting total institution. Journal of Sociology, 52(4), 661–676, 2016 

The Light of the World: Mediating Divine Presence through Light and Sound in a Contemporary Megachurch by Rakow, K. in The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief, 16(1), 1–24, 2020 "...despite the capaciousness of the space an atmosphere of intimacy is created through a specific lighting scheme that departs from traditional church lighting practices."

Ben Amor, N. E. H., Amor, N. E. H. B., Ghachem, M. S., Garrouch, K., & Mzoughi, M. N. (2014). Female Bareness in Print Advertisements: Do Religiosity and Gender Matter? International Journal of Marketing Studies, 6(3), 2014

Ruhr, M., & Daniels, J. P. (2012). Subsidizing Religious Participation Through Groups: A Model of the “Megachurch” Strategy for Growth. Review of Religious Research, 53(4), 471–491

Tourish, D. (2005). Charismatic Leadership and Corporate Cultism at Enron: The Elimination of Dissent, the Promotion of Conformity and Organizational Collapse. Leadership, 1(4), 455–480

Tourish, D., & Pinnington, A. (2002). Transformational Leadership, Corporate Cultism and the Spirituality Paradigm: An Unholy Trinity in the Workplace? Human Relations, 55(2), 147–172. 

Tourish, D., Collinson, D., & Barker, J. R. (2009). Manufacturing Conformity: Leadership Through Coercive Persuasion in Business Organisations. M@n@Gement, 12(5), 360.