Topbar search

Gathering People Slide
Slider-01Bottom
Slider-02Bottom
Toolbox-Slider

Featured Article

The Bittersweet Reality of Multiracial Churches by Korie L. Edwards

Comment are off
Multiracial congregations are all the rage, it seems, at least among Protestants. Conferences are being held across the country encouraging pastors and other religious leaders to be multiethnic, and groups like Mosaix and Kainos have been established to support the effort. People that attend these conferences are provided a theology for why more churches ought to work toward diversity as well as practical tools for moving their congregations toward that goal. After many years of research, my colleagues and I will be sharing what we’ve learned about these efforts. We will host a conference on pastoring multiracial churches, June 20-21, in Columbus, Ohio. It will be a chance to share practical knowledge based on our research. We know...
Read More →

More From the Blog

Where are the children with chronic health conditions and their families? By Andrew Whitehead

  Most congregations pride themselves on being open and welcoming to newcomers. They might...
Read More →

Ecclesiology and Ethnography – Do They Go Together?

Without the fancy words, that is to say, “What does observing and analyzing ordinary church...
Read More →

What to do about the building

A recent article in The Atlantic proclaimed ”an epidemic of empty churches.” And the very same...
Read More →

Who is Your Neighbor? Who Decides?

Immigration has become one of the most difficult issues facing people throughout Europe and...
Read More →

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. Often deepening our understanding of our congregational spaces and communities is as simple as learning to open our eyes to the hidden dynamics and realities at play on the ground. Find out more here!
Find a Tool

Existing Research

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

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!
Read More

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.
Buy it now!

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!

Theologians in the Field

Over the last couple of decades, the field of practical theology has increasingly drawn on methods from the social sciences.  Most especially, people seeking to understand the theological wisdom of a community have practiced ethnographic methods for gathering information and...
Read More →

Featured Research

Where are the children with chronic health conditions and their families? By Andrew Whitehead

  Most congregations pride themselves on being open and welcoming to newcomers. They might station greeters at the doors. Some offer small gifts in the lobby for those who are visiting....
Read More →

Ecclesiology and Ethnography – Do They Go Together?

Without the fancy words, that is to say, “What does observing and analyzing ordinary church life – studying congregations – have to do with thinking theologically about what church life means?”...
Read More →

Finding Resources in Unexpected Places

Mike Mather has spent most of his adult life pastoring churches in neighborhoods most people would call ”deprived.”  Not Mike.  When he greets someone at the food pantry or on the street, he’s...
Read More →