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The Congregational Studies Project Team

The Congregational Studies Project Team is an informal coalition of scholars and researchers who share an interest in congregations.  The team members meet a few times each year for discussion of common projects and for mutual professional support.  Its members, in various combinations, have written numerous books on congregations and sponsored national conferences and institutes on congregational studies.  The Lilly Endowment funds the continuing work of the congregational studies project team. 

For nearly thirty years, the Congregational Studies Project Team has led the way in inviting scholars to engage in serious, rigorous research on congregational life and encouraging religious leaders to draw on academic research to enrich their ability to provide effective leadership to local religious communities.

The Congregational Studies Team includes: Nancy Ammerman (Boston University), Anthea Butler, Bill McKinney (Pacific School of Religion),Larry Mamiya (Vassar College), Gerardo Marti, Joyce Mercer, Omar McRoberts (University of Chicago), James Nieman (Hartford Seminary) Robert Schreiter (Catholic Theological Union), Stephen Warner (University of Illinois, Chicago), and Jack Wertheimer (Jewish Theological Seminary).

The Team offers fellowships* to support scholars who are interested in disciplined inquiry into the life of local communities of faith. These 18-month fellowships include $18,000 in research support, plus $2000 for related travel. In addition, Fellowships include a program of mentoring by a senior-scholar coach and participation in two summer consultations that bring together the Fellows and coaches with the Team.

Applications are encouraged from scholars in a variety of disciplines — from practical theology to the social sciences, from history to biblical studies and contextual education — for projects that involve learning from and about living communities of faith. Fellows will explore avenues for making that knowledge available for the sake of those communities’ wellbeing, as well as developing strong academic contributions appropriate to their disciplines.

Applicants should have completed their graduate work and be placed in a professional position at the time of application. We especially encourage early-career scholars to apply, but will consider applications from persons who have recently been tenured.

For detailed information refer to the application information and instructions (PDF format) or contact the Engaged Scholars project office at Hartford Seminary by email (engagedscholars@hartsem.edu).

*This program is subject to final funding approval from the Lilly Endowment



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