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From the Archives: “Daily Struggles: Tasks in Leadership”

There are a number of key tasks that congregational leaders must help congregational members do. First, congregational leaders must help the congregation to get a realistic understanding of its surroundings, circumstances, and situation. Second, congregational leaders must help the congregation develop a unified vision for their congregation that is true to their understanding of God and God’s purpose for the congregation. Third, congregational leaders must strive to continually encourage the congregation to live out that vision in the congregation’s regular work. But that’s not all, congregational leaders must keep an eye on potential problems and conflicts that can disrupt the life of the congregation and the...
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More From the Blog

From the Archives: “Congregational Conflict: Listening to the Conflict”

Conflict is a natural part of human interaction — there will be differences in opinion...
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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...
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“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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From the Toolkit: Asking Questions

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. Conducting interviews and asking the right questions is one of the best ways you can gain information from the members of your religious organization.
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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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