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From the Archives: How to Ask Good Questions

An important part of any study is having a clear research question. The language of “research question” may seem intimidating for a little investigation about your congregation, but to be able to figure out what is going on in your community, you need to be precise about what you’re actually trying to uncover. But to think about what the research question is, first start with what the problem is.
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More From the Blog

“When a Shared Parking Lot Isn’t Just About Parking” by Paul D. Numrich

|| Written by Paul D. Numrich, Methodist Theological School in Ohio and Trinity Lutheran...
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From Evaluation to Engagement

Figuring out whether or not a program works poses an interesting challenge. It’s something that...
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Before the Disaster Strikes

As disasters strike – all too often, it seems – we often see churches, synagogues and mosques...
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Social Engagement and the London Megachurch

The Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK has funded a three-year study of London’s...
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From the Toolkit: Stepping Back to Watch and Listen

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 "Stepping Back to Watch and Listen" resource helps you turn everyday participation in a given congregation into a more systematic exercise of practiced observation.
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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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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

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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