Faith-Based Story Telling

Dr. Hamilton has collected nearly 200 stories from older African Americans. She listens to their stories, often of incredible pain and suffering and how these people relied on their faith when they were going through a difficult time. In nearly every story, there was some song or hymn that got the person through a stressful life event. “Faith-Based Story Telling” is interwoven into the fabric of African American culture and now preserved for future generations.

Jill Hamilton
Emory University

Jill B. Hamilton, PhD, MRPL, RN, FAAN

Jill B. Hamilton, PhD, MRPL, RN, FAAN is Professor (tenured) and Senior Faculty Fellow of SDOH & Health Disparities at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and Affiliate Professor at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Hamilton earned her BSN, MSN, and PhD in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a BS in Accounting from North Carolina Central University, postdoctoral training in the nursing care of older adults at the Oregon Health & Science University, and a Master’s in Religion and Public Life at the Candler School of Theology. She previously held faculty positions at Johns Hopkins University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was a tenured Associate Professor. Dr. Hamilton’s research interests include social determinants of health, health disparities, and the mental health promoting strategies used among older African American their families in response to life-threatening illness. Dr. Hamilton is Leading Editor of a text with Springer Nature titled “Integrating s Social Determinants of Health Framework into Nursing Education” to be released May 2023. She is also published on topics related to culture, social support, religiosity, spirituality, and quality of life among African Americans with life-threatening illness. She has done original research on the effects of Storytelling that incorporates Black Sacred Music and scripture on psychological distress among older and younger African Americans. The findings from this research are published in Cancer Nursing, the Journal of Religion and Health, the Gerontologist, Qualitative Health Research, and Nursing Research. She was a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar from 2003-2007 and a member of the 2014 Class of the UNC Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars. Dr. Hamilton is currently a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a Faculty Scholar of the Center for Spirituality, Theology & Health at Duke University. She was the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina and the 2011 Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Publishing’s Division Award for Excellence in Writing Qualitative Research. Dr. Hamilton’s work on religious songs was featured in the November 2012 Thanksgiving edition of Good Housekeeping magazine.