(1946) Since 1996, President, Pacific School of Religion; 1985-1996, Professor of American Religion and Dean, Hartford Seminary; 1974-1985, Research Director, United Church Board for Homeland Ministries. Ph.D., Pennsylvania State, 1979. Ordination, United Church of Christ (UCC). President, Religious Research Association, 1984; RRA Douglass lecturer, 1997.
A common thread in McKinney's professional career is the combination of applied research and administration, with the balance shifting more to administration over time. During his years with the United Church Board, he directed a research and evaluation program for the principal domestic mission arm of the UCC, including dozens of research projects on issues of concern to both religious leaders and the general public. During this period, he published, with David Roozen and Jackson Carroll, Religion's Public Presence (Alban Institute 1982) and Varieties of Religious Presence (Pilgrim 1984).
During his years at Hartford Seminary, an institution with a long tradition of fostering interplay of religion and social science, McKinney's most well-known contributions to the social scientific study of religion appeared: the Handbook for Congregational Studies (with Carroll and Carl S. Dudley, Abingdon 1986), American Mainline Religion: Its Changing Shape and Future (with W. Clark Roof, Rutgers University Press 1987), and Studying Congregations (with Nancy Ammerman, Carroll and Dudley, Abingdon 1997). Out of a deep commitment to making congregational studies as accessible as possible, McKinney also coproduced a video, Invitation to Congregational Studies (Hartford Seminary 1986). And out of his deep concern for enhancing the reflective practice of denominational leadership, McKinney developed a national leadership education program, one product of which was The Responsibility People: Eighteen Senior Leaders of Protestant Churches and National Ecumenical Agencies Reflect on Church Leadership (Eerdmans 1994).
Throughout his career, McKinney has been the author or coauthor of dozens of articles for both the religious and the academic press. In addition to his contributions to the Religious Research Association, McKinney is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Alban Institute and has provided consultative and editorial services on both the local and the national levels.
William H. Swatos, Jr., and David A. Roozen
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