Cottrill-Rolfes Chair in Catholic Studies

The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY invites applications for the endowed Cottrill-Rolfes Chair in Catholic Studies to begin August 2022. Competitive applicants will have the rank of Full Professor or its equivalent in scholarship and experience, and a strong reputation re- lated to some aspect of Catholic Studies. The endowment describes Catholic Studies as “the study of the history, literature, philosophy, music, culture, ideology, politics, institutions and traditions of Roman Ca- tholicism.” We are interested in applications from a range of diverse disciplinary approaches as well as different topics as they relate to Catholicism, such as art, architecture, liturgy, gender, race, religious con- version, biblical exegesis, the environment, and more. The scope of the position is global. Applications from scholars who specialize in inter-faith relations and the complexities of cross-cultural encounters are welcome. In concert with faculty across the College and the World Religions program, the Cottrill-Rolfes Chair will develop and implement an active program in Catholic Studies, with the understanding that the activities of the Chair should neither promote nor inhibit the Catholic religion. This will include program- ming for lectures and events of interest to the larger community on topics extending beyond the Chair’s immediate area of expertise.

The University of Kentucky is an R1 Research University with significant library holdings in Religious Studies, especially in the area of Christianity. Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Arabic, and an array of modern languages are available for undergraduate study. The College of Arts and Sciences has a growing community of internationally recognized scholars with interests in Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, biblical studies and archaeology, pre-modern Christian history and art, Asian and South Asian religions, vernacular religion, mythology, and Indigenous religions, as well as in the religious dimensions of sociology, anthropology, psychology, gender and women’s studies, and symbolic systems. The student population and faculty are diverse and committed to internationalization. The successful candidate will foster collegial relations and opportunities for intellectual explorations across disciplinary boundaries.

Interested scholars should apply online at: https://ukjobs.uky.edu/postings/349509. Applications should include the following: 1.) a letter that includes a brief description of research interests, prospective pro- jects, and relevant teaching experience, brief proposals for courses in Catholic Studies or Religious Stud- ies, ideas about a lecture series on the theme “Catholicism and…” (upload as Cover Letter); 2.) a curricu- lum vitae; 3.) a recent, representative article or chapter; in the case of a major digital project for which the applicant is a primary PI, please send a link (upload as Specific Request 1); and 4.) a statement on inclu- sivity (upload as Specific Request 2). As a college and university, we are strongly committed to creating an inclusive and effective teaching, learning, and working environment for all. In one to two pages, ap- plicants should reflect on their commitments, approaches, and insights related to inclusion, diversity, and equity. In addition, please provide the names and contact information for three references when prompted in the academic profile. The search committee will use this information when soliciting recommendation letters.

Review of applications will begin on October 15, 2021. Queries may be addressed to Prof. Abigail Firey, Director of World Religions; email afire2@uky.edu.

The University of Kentucky is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications fromveterans, individuals with disabilities, women, African Americans, and all minorities. Applications frominternationalscholarsarewelcome.

PCUSA Research Analyst Job

Overview

The national offices of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), based in Louisville, Kentucky, serve and work with mid-councils, congregations and partner organizations to carry forth the mission of Jesus Christ in the  World.  The work at the Presbyterian Center is carried out by approximately 400 staff members in several national entities: Office of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Investment and Loan, Presbyterian Mission Agency, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, Presbyterian Women and the Administrative Services Group.

Position Purpose: Help the PC(USA) and others make data-informed decisions through the use of data science, consulting, and research (especially quantitative), both within the PC(USA) and with ecumenical & interfaith partners.

Job Skills / Requirements

  1. Research Specialist (lead and/or serve as a consultant on projects)
  2. Data Science Specialist (working in SPSS and Excel)
  3. Evaluative Research Project Manager (work with client to design and carryout research appropriate to the type of information needed, with minimal supervision, on projects assigned by coordinator; conduct analysis and write and disseminate reports; make presentations as required)
  4. Educator (working with our assigned communications specialist, help educate the public, the Presbyterian population, national PC(USA) agency and mid-council staff about findings and resources through a variety of communication vehicles, as appropriate)
  5. Professional Engagement and Development (work with and/or within professional associations; participate in professional meetings; read professional and scholarly publications to stay abreast of best research practices and current research in religion; publish reports as appropriate)
  6. Assist team members when needed to distribute project load fairly

Essential Position Requirements:

education: PhD in related field strongly preferred; MA in a social science field considered

Experience:

– Minimum 3 years (with PhD) in social science research/5 years (with Masters’) in social science research considered; applied setting preferred; 

– 3 to 5 years of supervisory experience

Required Skills

  • Knowledge of statistics, including appropriate significance testing methods for varying levels of measurement and multivariate analysis
  • Up-to-date knowledge of applied social science research methods
  • Ability to develop quality surveys using best research practices
  • Customer service skills in working with colleagues, clients, and the public
  • Ability to interpret research data for persons with limited knowledge of statistics or research methodology
  • Working knowledge of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and SPSS
  • Excellent writing, public speaking, and data visualization skills
  • Understanding of and respect for Christian principles

Helpful Skills and Competencies

  • Skill in working with a wide diversity of people and in building and maintaining relationships
  • Knowledge of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and its polity/governance
  • Copyediting skills
  • Ability to design and conduct qualitative research, including focus groups and interviews
  • Ability to analyze and interpret qualitative data into findings that church leaders, agency staff, and Presbyterians in general can find useful and understandable
  • Ability to use Illustrator to generate graphics
  • Experience with web survey development

Required Competencies

  • Ability to translate complex analytic issues into practical research questions
  • Ability to analyze and interpret quantitative data into findings that church leaders, agency staff, and Presbyterians in general can find useful and understandable
  • Ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects and meet deadlines
  • Ability to work collaboratively in team setting with professional demeanor

Physical Requirements:  Some occasional travel required

Additional Information / Benefits

We believe a balanced life, with time for work, leisure, and spiritual nurture, makes us healthier and more productive colleagues at the Presbyterian Center.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) offers a competitive benefits package for eligible employees including Medical, Dental, Pension Plan, Short-Term and Long-Term Disability, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Flexible Spending accounts, 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan, Vacation Days, Sick Days, and Paid Holidays.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Candidates from Presbyterian communities in the global south and other historic Presbyterian Communities of Color, preferably with theological training and fluency in languages other than English, are encouraged to apply. Individuals living with disabilities encouraged to apply.


This job reports to the Research Coordinator

This is a Full-Time position 1st Shift.

Number of Openings for this position: 1


William H. Swatos, Jr. (1946-2020)

William H. Swatos, Jr. 74, of Galva, IL, died in GMC Medical Center, Sterling, IL on November 9, 2020 due to complications of COVID-19.

A native of West Milford, NJ, he graduated from Transylvania University in Lexington, KY, and earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in sociology from the University of Kentucky. He earned an M.Div. from the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Lexington and was ordained a priest while serving at the Church of the Transfiguration in Lawrenceburg, KY. He served at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Silvis, IL from 1980-1993. He was a resident of Galva, IL until recently moving to a care facility. 

His academic career included teaching sociology at King College (Bristol, TN), and Augustana College (Rock Island, IL). He was also a non-resident senior scholar in the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University (Waco, TX). As a Fulbright Scholar in 1981, he travelled to Iceland to teach and study Icelandic religion. He was a noted author/editor of over 20 books exploring topics in the sociology of religion. He served as Executive Officer of the Religious Research Association from 1994 to 2015, Association for the Sociology of Religion from 1997-2012, and as Managing Editor of the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion at Baylor University.

He is survived by sons Eric (Elizabeth) Swatos of Prophetstown and Giles Swatos of Tampa, FL, and grandchildren Arthur, Lillian, Claire, and Stephen.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the Alzheimer’s Association, https://www.alz.org/.

Funding opportunity: call for proposals on gratitude to God

Biola University, with the help of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation and under the direction of Peter Hill and Robert Emmons, welcomes proposals from various disciplines to investigate questions that concern gratitude to God*. Letters of intent are due January 29th, 2020.

Proposals may be for projects that utilize the methodologies of the psychological sciences, philosophy, theology, or religious studies. Empirical projects may be multi-method, qualitative, theoretical, cross-cultural, employ behavioral measures, or incorporate developmental approaches (though none of these are required). For the empirical projects, experi­mental methodologies are encouraged. There are four separate award competitions: (1) empirical large grants, (2) empirical early career grants, (3) non-empirical large grants, and (4) non-empirical early career grants. Total funding available for this RFP is $2.8M. For more instructions and more information, visit www.gratitudetogod.com. Queries may be sent to rachel.smith@biola.edu.

We anticipate proposals for empirical and non-empirical projects that address one or more of the questions listed below:

  • What is the basic structure of gratitude to God? How does gratitude to God differ from gratitude to others?
  • Why and how do people express gratitude to God or fail to?
  • How is cosmic gratitude an alternative to gratitude to God?
  • What functions does gratitude to God serve?

*For the sake of this proposal and the anticipated projects that we hope it generates, we are using the term “God” to encompass the supreme God of monotheistic traditions, as well as other supernatural or superhuman beings with agency and powers (gods, spirits, ghosts, saints), whether personal or impersonal, with capacities to “make things happen or prevent them from happening, especially obtaining goods and avoiding bads” (Smith, 2017, p. 22). The phrase “personal or impersonal” implies that the superhuman powers may or may not be believed to possess consciousness, intentions, feelings, desires and other properties of the mind. We use the term “cosmic gratitude” in the RFP to depict the state that is felt by people who are inclined to feel gratitude for things not plausibly attributable to human agency nor to a personal supernatural or superhuman agent (Roberts, 2014).