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Dr Sylvia Collins-Mayo

Associate Professor


I gained my PhD at the University of Surrey in 1997 with a thesis focused on Young People's Faith in Late Modernity. I came to Kingston University in the same year and continued my post-doctoral work exploring questions around religion and the world views of Generation Y (individuals born between 1980 and 2000). I am interested in the beliefs and values young people employ in shaping their identity and sense of purpose in life. I have researched how young people engage with the Christian heritage of Britain.  More broadly, I have written on spirituality and on how religious beliefs and practices are lived out in everyday life, including how prayer is used and understood in different contexts.  My recent research has been concerned with the role, impact and experiences of Street Pastors who work in conjunction with the police and local government to enhance the safety and wellbeing of the public as they engage with the night-time economy. I am currently Head of the Department of Criminology and Sociology. I teach the sociology of religion and social research methods within the Department. I am interested in supervising doctoral candidates with research projects focusing on the sociology of religion - particularly in relation to Christianity; young people's faith; spirituality; agnosticism; prayer.

Areas of specialism

  • Sociology of Religion
  • Prayer
  • Christianity
  • Social Research Methods

Courses taught




  • BSc (Hons) Applied Psychology and Sociology, University of Surrey.
  • PhD Sociology: Young People's Faith in Late Modernity, University of Surrey.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, Kingston University.

Professional membership

British Sociological Association

British Sociological Association Sociology of Religion Study Group



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