Faith Communities Today and the
Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership
Under the leadership of David Roozen, the "Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership" brought together more than 40 participants from Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Bahai' and Orthodox Church organizations to develop cooperative congregational survey research in conjunction with the census in 2000 and then in 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2015. By developing common procedures, comparable instruments and coordinated schedules it will become possible to share data on all forms of congregational life throughout the United States. The resulting national data enables pastors, church leaders and scholars to make unprecedented comparisons among congregations and denominations.
Church Inventory and Consulting Services
The Hartford Institute, under the name Center for Social and Religious Research, has had a long history of expertise in theoretically-informed practical research on congregations and denominations. The faculty and staff of the Institute has applied this knowledge to the design of several survey instruments for local congregations. These instruments can assist a congregation in its efforts to understand its unique culture, shape its programmatic agenda, and conduct its pastoral searches. Interested church leaders are encouraged to follow the link below for more information or contact the Institute's office.
Continuing National Megachurch Research
Hartford Institute facultyperson Scott Thumma along with Dave Travis and Warren Bird of Leadership Network collaborate in the study of megachurches on a national level. They have done national surveys of megachurches in 2000, 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2015. Additionally, they investigation of the attitudes and interests of nearly 50,000 attenders of two dozen megachurches in 2007-08. The goal of this research is to provide more accurate information about these large churches and to track changes taking place in these innovative congregations.
New England Religion Discussion Society (NERDS)
NERDS was an informal gathering of scholars from various religious studies disciplines. The group would meet three times a year at the Hartford Institute for Religion Research at Hartford Seminary to discuss working papers or current projects of two of its participants. A conference that includes this group of scholars will be held in November 2015.
Congregational Studies Institute
The Congregational Studies Institute was a biennial educational event using readings, plenary sessions, and small group field studies in local congregations to refine participants' ability to analyze the life of the congregation. This event has been recreated as a summer course taught every few years by Scott Thumma as "studying your congregation." This course will be taught in June, 2016.