Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: This list, curated by Hartford Seminary’s Hartford Institute for Religion Research, is one of the best curated listings of scholarly research available on the web.
“The study of congregations has become a primary focus of sociologists of religion in the past decade. The local church is now seen by researchers as an important component of an individual’s faith and religious practice in the United States. The increased role of congregations in American public life makes the study of these local religious organizations increasingly important.
This section offers summaries of major research projects which have the congregation as a focus of study. They are listed in rough chronological order.”
- Faith Communities Today & their “American Congregations 2015 Study” (available for free download at http://faithcommunitiestoday.org/ or click here for immediate download: American Congregations 2015 study).
- Organizing Religious Work
- National Congregations Study
- Project on Religion and Urban Culture
- Longitudinal Study of Conservative Church Growth
- Publishers Assoc. Study of Congreg. Resource Needs
- Religion and Family Project
- Missouri Rural Church Project
- Philadelphia Religious Census Study
- Multiracial Congregations Project
- National Parish Inventory
- Project Canada 2000 Survey of Congregations
- Nondenominational Congregations Study
- Mississippi Church/State Partnerships Study
- Pastoral Leadership Project
- U.S. Congregational Life Survey Project
- Congregations, Communities and Leadership Development Project
- Religion and New Immigrants
- National Study of Youth and Religion
Others research summaries coming soon.
View congregational survey question bank drawn from the survey instruments of several of the above projects
More research from Hartford Seminary’s Hartford Institute for Religion Research Page (below):
Visit our research section on Megachurches – This section of the site contains research, writings and an extensive database of megachurches in the U.S.
Women and Religion – Information from several studies on the role of women in religion can be found in this section. Included are links to other web resources on women and religion.
Religion and the Family – Several recent studies on religion and changing family dynamics are highlighted in this section. Information on the family ministries of churches and denominations is also included.
Religion and the Web – The Internet is changing the face of religion. Several articles discussing these changes are included here. This section also has links to sites about religion and the Internet.
Pentecostalism – Pentecostalism is one of the fastest growing religious phenomena in the past century. Research on religious groups practicing expressive, charismatic worship is described in this section.
Orthodox Churches in the United States – This section has one of a kind research on the major branches of the Orthodox Church in the USA. It includes tables of fact, articles and links to more information.
Homosexuality and Religion – This section contains information on this controversial topic. Included here are reports of denominational debates, research data and links to information on this subject.
Quick Questions – Our quick questions section is the archive of factoids drawn from studies and research reports we feature in this web site. Individual questions are rotated onto our homepage approximately every week. These questions are intended to highlight the diverse research findings contained on the Institute web site.
Faith Based Social Services/Charitable Choice – Links to research articles and other useful sites are provided here on the subject of congregations providing social services to address issues of the needy within their community.