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From the Archives: “6 Ways to Keep Congregational Conflicts Constructive”

Question: We are watching congregations all around us be torn apart by conflicts. How can we prevent this from happening to our church and stay out of conflict? It sounds like you are concerned that if your church has a conflict, it necessarily will be torn apart. Not all conflicts need be so destructive: there are many examples of churches that have struggled through conflicts to emerge as resilient, flourishing faith communities, although the news media rarely reports on these in contrast to the over-attention given to churches in conflict.
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More From the Blog

From the Archives: “A View of Your Neighborhood: A Walking Tour”

One of the best ways to get a feel for the community around your congregation is to walk the...
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Why Belong?

Why belong? That’s what lots of people are asking themselves these days.  And it’s what people...
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From the Archives: “Using Ritual to Assist in Change”

An article from the York, Pennsylvania Dispatch outlined how two churches used ceremony and...
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From the Archives: “Implicit Assumptions and Expectations: Spell Them Out”

Many religious leaders struggle with fitting into new congregations. Congregants may have...
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From the Toolkit: Survey Says!

The Studying Congregations Toolkit gives you the tools you need to better understand a congregation. These PDF downloads were created especially for seminarians and religious leaders. Surveys can help you better understand the landscape of your congregation. Read more to discover survey do's and don'ts!
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Existing Research

Many researchers have made important contributions towards our understanding of congregations. We can help you know what they know.
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The Toolkit

Want to better understand your congregation? Our free PDF downloads feature the tools you'll need. Educators take note: They're perfect for use in seminary classrooms!
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Buy the Handbook

Prefer paper? Love a good throwback in time? Want more examples and exercises for understanding your congregation? Buy Studying Congregations: A New Handbook.
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About Us

StudyingCongregations.org is the premier resource for understanding religious congregations in the United States. A collaborative project of leading scholars in the fields of sociology of religion, history, and practical theology, the strategies, resources and tools you will discover on this site have been designed specifically for theological educators, future religious leaders, and anyone else who wants to go beyond the received wisdom to discover what is happening in religious gatherings today.

This resource is offered to you as a gift of the Congregational Studies Team, an informal research group that has led the way in researching US congregations. Their work is generously funded by The Lilly Endowment.

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From the Archives: “6 Ways to Keep Congregational Conflicts Constructive”

Question: We are watching congregations all around us be torn apart by conflicts. How can we prevent this from happening to our church and stay out of conflict? It sounds like you are concerned that if your church has a conflict, it necessarily will be torn apart. Not all...
Read More →

Featured Research

Social Engagement and the London Megachurch

The Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK has funded a three-year study of London’s megachurches and their social engagement activities, to be complete at the end of 2016. Using the...
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Producing Religion Online: Two Case Studies

RELEVANT Media Group  Cameron Strang founded RELEVANT Media Group in 2000 when he was 24 because he could not find a Christian platform that spoke to his peer group, and, as he puts it, “Sunday...
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Pop-Up Shabbat: A Dinner Community Case Study

Pop-Up Shabbat  is a pop-up restaurant inspired by Jewish culture and tradition in Brooklyn, NY. Each gathering lasts 3-4 hours and includes “slightly socially engineered mingling, family-style...
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