Position Announcement: Principal Investigator, Religious Workforce Project

4500 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20016-5690 ~ (202) 885-8600 ~ (202) 885-8605 ~ www.wesleyseminary.edu


Principal Investigator, Religious Workforce Project

Located in Washington, DC, Wesley Theological Seminary is a graduate theological school of The United Methodist Church that prepares women and men to be exceptional leaders, teachers, and preachers. Our culturally and ethnically diverse student body represents nearly 40 different Christian denominations, from nearly every state in the union, and from every continent on earth except Antarctica. Our graduates go on to lead churches, nonprofits, justice and advocacy programs, international NGO’s, community health programs, and helping agencies around the world. A single graduating class of Wesley scholars will positively impact more than half-a-million people in their ministry careers.


Position Description:

Wesley Theological Seminary, a seminary of the United Methodist Church in Washington, DC, invites applications for a full-time, three-year position as the Principal Investigator for the Religious Workforce Project from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2022. The position is made possible by a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. to research the changing patterns among the workforce of U.S. Christian congregations.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • As Principal Investigator, ensure that the Religious Workforce Project achieves its stated goals, on schedule, and with the highest research standards
  • Organize and execute the qualitative research components of the grant
  • Collaborate on accessing other staffing needs related to research components
  • Collaborate on the quantitative components of the research
  • Report to the Director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership and serve on staff
  • Have faculty standing (non-tenure track) with occasional teaching as negotiated


The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in sociology of religion, practical theology or a related discipline is required, although ABD candidates will be considered. Demonstrated familiarity in the areas of congregational studies, demographic studies and knowledge of existing national congregational surveys are desirable.

  • Rooted in the ecumenical Christian heritage
  • Demonstrated competence and experience in qualitative research is a requirement. 
  • Competency in SPSS, Python or some other statistical analysis software is desirable. 

Salary is commensurate with education and experience.


To Apply:

Send a letter of intent, curriculum vitae, and the names and positions of three references for an initial screening of candidates to: F. Douglas Powe, Jr., lewiscenter@wesleyseminary.edu, Lewis Center for Church Leadership, www.churchleadership.com

Posted:                              Closes: When filled

Wesley Theological Seminary is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with a disability. Wesley Theological Seminary values diversity and inclusion. We value diversity within our students, faculty, and staff, and strive to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people.

An offer of employment is contingent upon the establishment of identity and verification of employment eligibility as required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, as well as a background check and supporting references.

Generations in Dialogue (GID) Mentorship Program

The Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California (USC) is seeking applications for its Generations in Dialogue (GID) program about the Sociology of Religion.

The GID program involves a widely-recognized senior Catholic scholar sharing his or her time, expertise, and wisdom with several junior scholars in the same or related disciplines. Over a two-year period these scholars convene for four weekend dialogues that include discipline-specific discussions, personal reflection, shared prayer, and presentations from distinguished scholars and public intellectuals.  Besides benefitting from two years of mentorship, junior scholars will establish relationships with other dedicated scholars in their field.

A generous stipend is included. Early-career (pre-tenure and dissertation stage) social scientists are eligible. Applications are welcome from anyone interested in a substantive and critical engagement with Catholicism’s multiple intellectual traditions

For more information and an application:


Beyond the Ivory Tower Workshop: September 2019

September 20-21, 2019
Northeastern University

Attendees will receive instruction in writing for the public from New York Times senior opinion editor James Ryerson, as well as a $1,750 honorarium to cover workshop expenses.

The workshop is open to natural scientists, social scientists, and philosophers with PhDs that want to build their communication skills, and who are passionate about bringing their ideas to the public via articles and essays in major media outlets. The workshop will focus on how to conceptually frame scholarly work for a wider audience, how to structure the writing of such pieces, and how to most effectively “pitch” editors at magazines and newspapers.

Applications are due June 7, and should include three paragraph-long descriptions of a piece the applicant would like to write, a writing sample of up to 1,500 words, and a CV. Materials can be submitted to: http://www.northeastern.edu/cos/workshop-scholars-writing-public.<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.northeastern.edu%2Fcos%2Fworkshop-scholars-writing-public%2F&data=01%7C01%7Ckevin_dougherty%40baylor.edu%7Cf0415546fa914767d27b08d6c746c43b%7C22d2fb35256a459bbcf4dc23d42dc0a4%7C0&sdata=OgZiwu9PrMN1XDPUCNDcGFjMlHIOwyhaxxCWXkShAPg%3D&reserved=0>

Direct questions to David DeSteno at d.desteno@gmail.com<mailto:d.desteno@gmail.com>.

AAR / Sociology of Religion Unit, Call for Papers

 American Academy of Religion

Annual Meeting
San Diego, CA
November 23-26, 2019

Sociology of Religion Unit
Call for Papers


Statement of Purpose: 

The Sociology of Religion (SOR) Unit of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) serves as a bridge between religious studies and the subdiscipline of sociology of religion. It functions as a two-way conduit not only to import sociological research into religious studies but also to export the research of religious studies into both the subdiscipline and the broader field of sociology. Only through a cross-fertilization transgressing departmental boundaries can there be breakthroughs in research in both fields. The unit has a wide conception of sociology of religion. It is open to a multiplicity of paradigms and methodologies utilized in the subfield and sociology more broadly: theoretical as well as empirical, quantitative, qualitative, and comparative-historical. By liaising with other Program Units, the Sociology of Religion Unit is able to bring the rich diversity of critical and analytical perspectives that are housed in the American Academy of Religion into mainstream sociology of religion. Conversely, it aims to provide scholars of the study of religion with a deeper understanding of the landscape of sociology of religion.

Call for Papers:
The purpose of the Sociology of Religion program unit of the American Academy of Religion is to bridge the gap and generate cross-fertilization between the Sociology of Religion and Religious Studies. We are open to papers in all areas and therefore encourage submissions of any topic relevant to the sociology of religion. This year, we are particularly interested in the following topics:

  • Topics related to San Diego (Immigration/Latinx experiences, militarism, etc.) and public intellectuals (which is the theme of the conference)
  • Pedagogical panel: sociology of religion is taught in both sociology and religious studies departments. However, in religious studies departments, so as not to conflict with the turf of sociology departments, it is often called “religion and society.” For this panel, we are interested in comparing how sociology of religion is taught in sociology and religious studies departments
  • W.E.B. DuBois’s relevance to the sociology of religion
  • A return to Jane Addams and others whose work refutes an epistemic split between sociology and activism
  • Relevance/relationship of quantitative to qualitative research
  • Applied sociology as a form of pubic intellectual work

The Sociology of Religion Unit of AAR regularly co-sponsors panels with the peer-reviewed print and online journal Critical Research on Religion (CRR) (http://crr.sagepub.com). Published by SAGE Publications, the journal has over 8000 subscriptions worldwide and is ranked by Scopus #16 out of 432 religion journals (https://www.scimagojr.com/journalrank.php?category=1212). Presenters of promising papers in SOR panels will be invited to turn their papers into articles and submit them for peer review to CRR.



Please submit paper and session proposals through the AAR SOR Unit Portal: https://papers.aarweb.org/content/sociology-religion-unit

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection

For further information, please contact AAR SOR Unit Co-Chairs:
Rebekka King, rebekka.king@mtsu.edu

Warren S. Goldstein, goldstein@criticaltheoryofreligion.org

Institute of Buddhist Studies: Public Theologies of Technology and Presence Grant Opportunity

Public Theologies of Technology and Presence


The Institute of Buddhist Studies, with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, invites proposals from scholars across the academic disciplines specializing in any religious traditions, theologians from all religious traditions, and professional journalists, to participate in a three-year research and journalism initiative and series of meetings addressing the impacts of technologies on human relationships.


This initiative seeks to support scholars of religion, theologians, and journalists to powerfully address a central concern of contemporary life: The ways in which technologies reshape human relationships and alter how people are or are not “present” to each other.


Sixteen scholars of religion, theologians, and journalists will receive grants of $10,000 each to support research projects and journalistic publications on technologies and interpersonal presence. Grantees will gather yearly to share and hone their work and its applications, explore opportunities for collaboration, and take advantage of significant Silicon Valley and media resources.


Detailed requests for proposals have been issued separately for scholars/theologians and for journalists.


The deadline for the submission of proposals is May 7, 2018.


Address questions about the initiative or the application process to Program Director Dr. Steven Barrie-Anthony: stevenba@shin-ibs.edu, (510) 500-9722.


ASR 2018 Call for Papers

The Association for the Sociology of Religion (ASR) invites you to submit a paper and/or session proposal for our 2018 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA. The 2018 theme, “Strengthening Weak Ties to other Sociological Subdisciplines,” highlights the meeting overlap with the American Sociological Association (ASA), Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), Association of Black Sociologists (ABS), and other sociological associations. Session proposals are due by March 31. Paper proposals are due by April 30. For more information, visit the ASR website at https://www.sociologyofreligion.com/annual-meeting/.

Position Available — Director, Applied Research: Auburn Seminary

The Director for Applied Research will collaborate in directing Auburn Research and The Center for the Study of Theological Education, establishing in partnership with the Vice President for Applied Research the strategic vision, priorities, and methodology of a vibrant research agenda that reflects Auburn’s mission and is responsive to the needs of the field. S/he will direct and carry out research that has an impact on the preparation of leaders of faith and moral courage. The Director for Applied Research will be a member of Auburn’s senior leadership team, and report to the Vice President for Applied Research, with regular access to the Dean.


The Director for Applied Research will be expected to work collaboratively to shape, direct, and carry out an action research agenda that:

• Takes a broad view of the diverse contexts, within and outside of traditional and accredited institutions, in which faith practice and theological education now take place, and their implications for the education and formation of leaders of faith and moral courage today;

• Examines the role faith plays in social justice movements, employing analysis from multifaith and secular perspectives to pressing social concerns such as immigration and demographic shifts, racial justice, inequality, reproductive justice, climate change, in order to understand how to equip leaders most effectively;

• Is attuned to the broad range of theological perspectives and faith traditions, and understands the multifaith and secular contexts that leaders must negotiate;

• Supports the leaders of theological schools and other organizations as they experiment with innovations to meet the changing realities of faith leaders today and the communities they serve, continuing to address seminary leaders’ concerns about sustainable issues while also addressing current concerns about relevance, denominational identity, and pedagogy;

• Identifies the skills and capacities religious leaders in practice need to guide their faith communities in building and sustaining social justice movements, in order to deepen their understanding of the issues and their capacity to speak about these issues in the public arena; and

• Builds, integrates, and models best practices of research and evaluation in Auburn’s educational work and institutional life.

Toward these ends, the Director for Applied Research will:

• Work with the Auburn’s program team to develop both independent and collaborative research, building research teams and engaging consultants when appropriate;

• Work as part of an energetic team of Auburn colleagues, both within the research area, with Auburn’s program team, and across the institution to advance Auburn’s mission and priorities;

• Work with Auburn’s communications team to ensure that Auburn’s research is widely disseminated and promoted through writing, in print and digital, speaking, teaching, and consulting with religious leaders, congregations, communities, and the public at large;

• Harness the talents of allies and partners in the field of theological education and of researchers in the field through professional academic groups (AAR/SBL, SSSR, or similar), and ad hoc collaboration and convenings;

• Collaborate with partner organizations to determine the most effective methodologies for evaluating Auburn’s progress toward its aspirational and practical goals;

• Work actively with the Vice-President for Applied Research and the Strategic Philanthropy team to raise funds to support a robust research agenda;

• Manage the day-to-day operations of the research work, including supervising research fellows or assistants, overseeing research budgets and writing grant reports.


Auburn seeks in its Director for Applied Research a leader with a demonstrated record as a scholar and educator in the fields of theological education, practical theology, sociology of religion, social science, or a related field. The ideal candidate will have:

• A Ph.D. and a proven record of research that employs both qualitative and quantitative research techniques, with a thorough knowledge of statistical analysis and SPSS;

• Experience in an academic or research institution, or in another context in which social science research is critical to the organization’s mission;

• Knowledge of, and respect for, the traditions of theological education and research, combined with an understanding of current issues in the field and an innovative spirit that embraces new approaches to equipping leaders to guide increasingly diverse religious communities;

• Exceptional written and oral communication skills, including the ability to present cogently and forcefully the substance and excitement of research in theological education to a variety of audiences both within and outside the field;

• Ability and enthusiasm to engage with, and build bridges among, a broad range of institutions across religious traditions, within and outside of the field of theological education, and reflecting diverse perspectives;

• An understanding of the broad landscape of religious life in the United States;

• Strong management, collaboration and team-­building skills;

• An interest in and ability to embrace Auburn’s mission and core values;

• The resilience to thrive in a fast-­paced, challenging entrepreneurial organizational environment;

• A passion for a more just world.


Please send your resume and thoughtful cover letter to the attention of The Rev. Dr. Christian Scharen, Auburn’s Vice President for Applied Research, at work@auburnseminary.org. Please use the job title as the subject line of your email, and use the PDF format for all application materials. All inquiries and nominations should be sent to this email as well. No phone calls, please.

Auburn is a multifaith leadership development and research center working with secular and faith-rooted justice leaders on a national scale, as well as at the grassroots level, who exhibit the drive and potential to awaken the spirit of possibility within each of us to catalyze change and face the challenges of our fragmented, complex time.

Using innovative, research-based methodologies, Auburn equips bold and resilient leaders to frame the critical conversations of the day, and to mobilize the public to work across divides to create the world for which humanity longs. We provide them with education, research, support, and media savvy, so that they can bridge religious divides, build community, pursue justice, and heal the world. Learn more at AuburnSeminary.org.

Sharon L. Miller, Ph.D.

Director of Research

and The Center for the Study of Theological Education

Auburn Seminary

475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1800 I New York, NY 10115

Direct: 212-870-3158 Main: (212)662-4315