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

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|| Written by Paul D. Numrich, Methodist Theological School in Ohio and Trinity Lutheran Seminary || What happens when a Catholic church provides overflow parking to a Hindu temple? Is it primarily an exchange of resources? Or is something more going on? In our book on immigrant congregations, Sacred Assemblies and Civic Engagement, Fred Kniss and I noted with surprise the number of shared parking arrangements we encountered in Chicago. I am now researching the many variations on space-sharing among religious groups in the US. There are churches that allow other congregations to rent or otherwise use their property, buildings owned jointly by two or more congregations, and congregations that schedule ethnic-specific activities for...
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Before the Disaster Strikes

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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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Lent & Ramadan under the Same Roof

“Calling ISIS ‘Muslim’ is like going to KFC, sitting down to eat a bucket of chicken, and...
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Producing Religion Online: Two Case Studies

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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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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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