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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 morning was not fulfilling.” The company has never been affiliated with a denomination and remains independent, even as it continues to grow. Today RELEVANT reaches well over 2 million twenty- and thirty-something Christians a month through a print and iPad magazine, daily web content, videos, live studio recordings, and a weekly podcast. Strang describes a generational disconnect between “the church we grew up in and the faith we wanted to play out.” He and his readers find God alive and speaking in all aspects of life, even those that are...
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More From the Blog

Walking with Cameras

A variation of the walking tour is a great way to explore a congregation’s context: walking...
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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,...
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Taking the Measure of American Congregations

The most recent report from the National Congregations Study  was released in December, 2015,...
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Engaging Congregations with Photovoice

Photovoice (PV) is a technique that enables researchers to identify needs and stimulate social...
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From the Toolkit: Talking Through History

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. The "Talking Through History" resource teaches you how to create a congregational timeline and learn from it.
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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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Featured Conferences

Durham Conference

Durham Conference on Ecclesiology & Ethnography:

From September 6th – 8th 2016, The Network for Ecclesiology & Ethnography will host their annual conference bringing together scholars working on ethnographic approaches to ecclesiology. The conference welcomes scholars working in a range of disciplines including: The Anthropology of Christianity, Systematic Theology, Missiology, The Sociology of Religion and Practical Theology. Both established and emerging scholars are welcome to submit papers and registration is now open. Learn More.

Antwerp Workshop

University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp:

On October 19th – 21st 2016, UCSIA organizes the academic workshop, “The Critical Role of Religious Community Life in Europe: A World Between Tradition and Innovation” at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. This workshop wants to bring together scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds in the social sciences, humanities, religious studies and theology, to discuss the role of traditional as well as new forms of religious community life in Europe. Learn more. 

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.

Ask An Expert!

Affiliation Matters

The latest Pew Religious Landscape Survey is full of interesting insights into changes occurring in American religion. As I look at these survey results, here are a few of the things I’ve noted. On most measures of religiosity (prayer, attendance, belief, etc.), those who are in...
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Featured Research

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...
Read More →

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...
Read More →

Taking the Measure of American Congregations

The most recent report from the National Congregations Study  was released in December, 2015, and it allows interested students of congregational life to learn a great deal about what is typical...
Read More →