Jonathon Wiggins attended St. Meinrad College and graduated from Purdue University with degrees in psychology and social studies education.
He taught psychology at the secondary level at Portage Adult High School as well as served as psychiatric technician at a psychiatric hospital in Michigan City, IN.
He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology at Loyola University of Chicago, where his dissertation was a sociological analysis of contemporary Marian devotion in the U.S. Catholic Church. He co-wrote a paper on religious organizations in today’s environmental movement which was published in Social Compass: International Review of Sociology of Religion. He joined CARA in January 2000 as the Director of CARA’s Parish Surveys. These studies are a tool that parishes and other pastoral ministries can use to evaluate the adequacy of their services, identify the needs and concerns of those they serve, and plan for the future direction of their organizations.
From 2009 to 2012, he served as a Social Scientist on a Human Terrain Team in Afghanistan. As an Army civilian, his role was to interview and survey the local Afghan people to help identify their needs and grievances. He worked directly with the U.S. Marines at Camp Leatherneck, the U.S. Navy at FOB Farah, the U.S. Department of State, and USAID in efforts to help secure the local districts and develop their local economy.
Jonathon returned from Afghanistan and joined CARA again in 2014, where he continues to serve as the Director of Parish Surveys. He is very excited to be teaching his first college course at Georgetown University’s Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies program with his colleague and friend Dr. Mark Gray.