Past Research

The Center for the Study of Religion and its predecessor, the Center for the Study of American Religion, have housed a number of external research projects, ranging from “Women and the African American Church,” funded by the Lilly Endowment and directed by Jualynne Dodson, to “Mission, Formation, and Diversity: Adult Education Programs at Church-Related Colleges,” funded by the Lilly Endowment and directed by Diane Winston.

One major initiative housed at the Center was a project on The Public Role of Mainline Protestantism, generously funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and directed by Center Director Robert Wuthnow. The Project, which included a broad-based examination of the activities of mainline denominations conducted by a team of twenty scholars located at the Center and elsewhere, included a national conference in Washington, D.C., in March 2001. A 54-page report entitled Finding a New Voice: The Public Role of Mainline Protestantism, which summarized results from the project and provided a resource guide for mainline leaders, was distributed by the Aspen Institute and Alban Institute to more than 11,000 clergy and other religious leaders. An edited volume, The Quiet Hand of God: Faith Based Activism and Mainline Protestantism, ed. Robert Wuthnow and John H. Evans (University of California Press, 2002), summarizes the research.

The Small Groups and Forgiveness Project was funded by the John F. Templeton Foundation and directed by Robert Wuthnow. Through a national survey and in-depth interviews, this project examined the important role that faith-based groups are playing in current efforts to promote healing of broken interpersonal relationships. The final report summarizes the study’s findings; additional information about the study is also available.

A research project on Trust, funded by the Russell Sage Foundation, examined the role of trust among clients of social service delivery organizations. This project extended an ongoing study of faith-based service organizations, churches, and Charitable Choice policies which began in 1995. The study compared the experiences and perceptions of recipients of assistance from faith-based, non-faith-based, and governmental organizations.

Explore additional CSR-sponsored research projects that have concluded by clicking on the menu links on the left.