Professor Nielsen has been a faculty member in the Psychology Department at Georgia Southern University since 1993. The chair of the department cited his credentials as a "wonderful teacher, excellent department and university servant, and gifted researcher" in nominating him for a Golden Anniversary Alumni Award.
Nielsen is internationally known in the area of the psychology of religion. In addition to many refereed publications and book chapters, Nielsen is a regular contributor to national media forums and was featured in a film documentary by well-known director Roger Nygaard discussing psychology and religion. More than most psychology scholars, Nielsen is said to excel in "bringing psychology home," thus connecting the field with individuals' daily lives.
Beyond his academic scholarship, Nielsen has created and maintains what is considered to be the most exhaustive and widely read Web site on the psychology of religion in the world (www.psywww.com/psyrelig). The Web site is accessed by thousands of people worldwide and has catapulted Nielsen into wider acclaim within this growing subfield of psychology. His efforts in this area earned him the 2006 Distinguished Service Award from the Division of the Psychology of Religion of the American Psychological Association.
Nielsen's professional memberships include the Association for Psychological Science, International Association for the Psychology of Religion, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Mormon Social Science Association.