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Understand Your Church Better by Observing It

This comprehensive online guide teaches pastors and lay leaders how to use social science observation techniques to understand church dynamics. The four guides help you explore theology, leadership, group structure,... read more >

Resources

Writings about Church Growth and Decline

Church growth and decline research and reflections are the focus of this collection of scholarly articles, housed on the website of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. This extensive resource... read more >

Resources

Evolving Visions of the Orthodox Priesthood

The majority of American Orthodox priests oppose the idea of parishioners electing clergy and bishops, encourage obedience to established rules in the church, and do not tolerate differences of opinion... read more >

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Hearing the Call: Vocational Reflection Gets Renewed Attention

Nevell Owens remembers when he first felt called to pursue a doctorate in theology. He was working as a criminal prosecutor when he looked into the eyes of a 13-year-old boy accused of murder. He saw that they were empty, and he wanted to know: Where was God in the life of this boy?

“I knew the boy’s mother was active in church,” Owens says. “I wanted to know, why isn’t the minister here? Why aren’t members of the church here?”

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What Clergy Do All Week

What Clergy Do All Week Lilly Foundation Funding Grants Insights into Religion News

Many church members might think the life of the pastor is spent preparing for that one-hour Sunday worship. A survey of Roman Catholic and Protestant pastors shows they do a lot more.

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A Reflection on the State of Pastoral Leadership

When Jackson Carroll began “Pulpit & Pew,” his large research project on pastoral leadership, he considered pastors a “troubled profession,” and braced himself for what his investigation might reveal. But five years of study, including a major national telephone survey and 23 focus groups across the country, convinced Carroll his gloomy forecast didn’t stand up.

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The Changing Nature of Worship

A church in Illinois streams video of a sermon from the home church miles away and displays it on a large screen.  A church in California offers half a dozen “video cafes,” each featuring different types of worship music to correspond to the different tastes of its participants. These are just a few of the changes taking place as U.S. congregations grapple with new technologies and contemporary idioms in worship.

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Transition into Ministry program helps new ministers flourish

Moving from seminary to first assignment at a congregation is always a challenge for a new pastor, but it’s even more so today. Helping young graduates become confident and effective is the goal of the Transition into Ministry program.

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Beyond the worship wars; creative ideas for renewing church services

In moving traditional churches to embrace new forms of worship, experts say start small and be sure to communicate.

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Sabbaticals help clergy reconnect, recharge

The 24/7 nature of ministry can lead to burnout. Thanks to the Clergy Renewal Program at Christian Theological Seminary, ministers are finding the time and money to recharge their spiritual batteries.

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Support for Rural Pastors

Grove City College received a nearly $1 million grant to help establish the Project on Rural Ministry. It’s an outreach...

Sunday Church Servicing in the Wake of Hurricane Michael

"Church leaders knew the Sunday following the storm would be important and necessary in what's expected to be a...

Relationship Across Rupture

On Being with Sally Kohn & Erick Erickson, “Relationship Across Rupture”Two lightning-rod figures on...

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