Faculty Profile

Todd Rendleman

Todd Rendleman

Professor of Communication

Email: trendleman@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2095
Office: Marston 206

Education: BA, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1992; MA, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1994; PhD, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1999. At SPU since 1999.

Todd Rendleman’s scholarship involves the analysis of film and film criticism, and he teaches film art, history, and criticism. His research has concentrated in two areas of film studies: 

  • Practice and analysis of film criticism
  • Analysis of the form and function of religious images in American movies 

Dr. Rendleman is the author of Rule of Thumb: Ebert at the Movies (Continuum, 2012). His writings have also appeared in Cultural Studies, the Journal of Media and Religion, and the Velvet Light Trap.


Rule of Thumb: Ebert at the Movies

Continuum, 2012

With a critical eye that mirrors his subject’s, Todd Rendleman explores the values, temperament, character, and style that made Roger Ebert the most trusted and influential film critic in America.

Selected Publications

  • Rendleman, T. (2008). “I know y’all think I’m pretty square, but tuh, I believe what I believe”: Images of evangelicals in American film. Journal of Media and Religion (7), 271–91.
  • Rendleman, T. (2002) “I didn’t need to see the tattooed lady takin’ it off”: Evangelicals and representations of sexuality in contemporary film. In D. Claussen (ed.), Sex, Media, Religion. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Rendleman, T. (2000). “‘Evil’ images in At Play in the Fields of the Lord: Evangelicals and representations of sexuality in contemporary film.” The Velvet Light Trap: A Critical Journal of Film and Television (46), 26–39.
  • Rendleman, T. (1999). “Evangelical Christians’ responses to popular culture: Toward an evaluative schema.” In N. Denzin (ed.), Cultural Studies: A Research Annual, Vol. 4, 297–317. JAI Press.

For more publications, please see Dr. Rendleman's CV.

Personal Links

Dr. Rendleman’s website, with more about Rule of Thumb and Rendleman’s analysis of Roger Ebert’s writings.

Listen to Dr. Rendleman discussing Rule of Thumb

Tod Rendleman

Why I Teach at SPU

Todd Rendleman, Professor of Communication

“Before his iconic role in Mad Men, Jon Hamm taught drama at John Burroughs High School in St. Louis. Before international stardom, Sting taught English, music, and soccer at St. Catherine's Convent School in Newcastle. Faye Dunaway says that if she hadn’t become an actress, she would have been a teacher. 

“Why do people who achieve the highest honors in their professions often think of themselves, at heart, as teachers? I think that on some level, they understand that teaching changes lives. I love teaching because it allows me to share my ideas with others — and to be changed through the exchange.”