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Female Catholic Priests: Muddied Organizational Waters

The Kansas City Star is reporting that Georgia Walker — a woman — became a Roman Catholic priest last Saturday. The stories of women becoming ordained within the Roman Catholic church circulate every few years. These services take...
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Friday Break: SNL’s St. Joseph’s Christmas Mass Spectacular

  Saturday Night Live last weekend included “St. Joseph’s Christmas Mass Spectacular,” a satirical promotional video of church life around Christmas. What I find most interesting about this is the comments — a vast...
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Death in Declining Congregations: A Case Study

More and more congregations within the United States are declining, and with that decline come church closures. In my dissertation research, I examined two small congregations. Fellowship United Methodist Church (which is a pseudonym, along with...
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A New Statue to Symbolize a Common Culture

Merging congregations involves combining each groups sets of congregational identities, histories, narratives, and symbols. A recent article from The Greenfield Massachusetts Recorder examines one way a recently-merged Catholic congregation...
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Pastoral Leadership that Matters: A UCC Study

Leadership matters. More specifically, pastoral leadership matters. In every setting of congregational life, talk of leadership abounds. In the United Church of Christ, the vision plan of the national setting includes the goal of having “a...
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How Does a Pastor Work: A New Podcast from Slate

Check out the new podcast from Slate, called “Working.” One of their first podcasts interviewed Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley of Alfred Street Baptist Church in Washington D.C. They ask the question: How does a pastor work? The podcast...
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Congregational Snapshots: Understanding and Engaging Congregations through Cell Phone Photographs

This is the first post in a  series by the Congregational Studies Visual Methods Fellow, Roman R. Williams, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Work at Calvin College. He is an expert in visual research...
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Fundraising Training in Seminary: Practical Realities

Boston University School of Theology (which, for full disclosure, is a sponsor of this site) has recently instituted finance courses for seminary students. As the article from BU Today explains: Starting this fall, the course, STEWARD—short for...
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Eyeing the Budget: Content Analysis of Priorities

When you’re having a problem within your congregation, you should 1) figure out a research question, 2) then determine the best way to examine the question using a variety of research tools, and 3) examine the data from a variety of...
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