Comment magazine, currently edited by Calvin’s James K. A. Smith (don’t miss his blog, Fors Clavigera), recently posted an excellent online article by Calvin alum Graham Scharf about the Believe 2 Become and Gatherings of Hope Initiatives. The article is titled “Renewing Social Architecture by Building Bridges” and characterizes B2B as a unique approach in today’s Christian philanthropic community.
Three years into these initiatives, CSR continues to provide research and evaluation support services for both Initiatives; for Believe 2 Become, we “ride shotgun” for the Community Research Institute at Grand Valley State University, while the Gatherings of Hope work is led by Calvin Sociology’s Mark Mulder.
CSR is offering another year of summer training for our staff and students. As with last year, these training sessions will be open to Calvin faculty, staff, and students, as well as some of our clients.
The schedule is subject to change, but here are the topics we’re going to cover: All training sessions will be from 1pm-4:30pm in North Hall 180.
Please click on any of the sessions you are interested in attending, and you will be taken to the corresponding Eventbrite page.
|Thursday 6/13||1||Document design - MS Word|
|Thursday 6/20||2||Inquisite/Qualtrics - Survey software|
|Thursday 6/27||3||Databases 101 and MS Excel|
|Thursday 7/11||4||MS Access|
|Thursday 7/18||5||Intuit QuickBase|
|Thursday 8/1||7||Tableau I|
|Thursday 8/8||8||Tableau II|
|Thursday 8/16||9||Qualitative data collection|
Stacia Allen, a sophomore Social Work major
Michael Bloem, a sophomore Economics major
Natalie Patterson, a junior Environmental Studies major
Additionally, we’ve hired two new research specialists who will join our team full time.
Owen Selles, who graduates this spring in Geography
Alexander Tyan, an International Relations major also graduating this spring
We are looking forward to working with our new colleagues.
The Social Sciences Lunch Seminar Series resumes for the spring semester 2013, highlighting three faculty speakers who will present and discuss their research.
Friday April 5: Roman Williams, Assistant Professor of Sociology: “Seeing Religion: Visual Research Methods in the Sociology of Religion”
Friday April 19: Jonathan Hill, Assistant Professor of Sociology: “The Social Context of Antievolutionist Beliefs”
Friday May 3: Julie Yonker, Assistant Professor of Psychology: “Does how you think really impact your Religious Beliefs? Results from a Large National Survey”
All of the 2012-13 seminars take place at Calvin College, in the Alumni Association Board Room, 12:30 p.m. with lunch tickets free and available starting at 12:15 p.m.
Please join us for lunch, research, and discussion.
Sponsored by the Center for Social Research, the Dean for Social Sciences and Contextual Studies, and the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Christian Perspectives on Political, Social and Economic Thought.
Since 2004, CSR has been supporting the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) in its Sustaining Pastoral Excellence project, which has been funded by grants from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. Four waves of surveys have been conducted on an approximately biennial basis, in 2004/2005 (which we’re now labeling “2005” for simplicity’s sake), 2007, 2009 and 2011.
A full report is now available comparing all four survey waves and including statistical models of pastors’ self-reported pastoral health (vocational satisfaction and sustainability), leadership skills, and congregational fulfillment of the CRC’s mission statement. The report finds statistical stability across all four waves—excellence is indeed being sustained. But we also identify many areas of concern with room for improvement, especially council support through systematic feedback on preaching. The statistical models suggest that programmatic interventions per se have mixed effects, but targeting leadership skill development could stimulate improvements in pastoral health.
The following resources are available from CSR; see also the SPE project’s survey page.
Here is an image of Figure 21 that appears on page 36 of the report (page 42 in the PDF count). The horizontal axis shows the pastoral health scores for 2009 to 2011 respondents on a scale of 12 items related to pastoral health, such as spousal support, life balance, satisfaction with present pastorate, feelings of isolation in ministry, etc. Each blue dot is an individual pastor’s response from 2009 & 2011 combined. The pattern shows that pastors start with relatively higher health scores, experience a decline in their health scores in the 2.1 to 4.9 year stretch, after which the scores recover as tenure increases above 13 years. The difference between the 2.1 to 4.9 year dip and its immediate neighboring categories is not statistically significant, but pastors with 11 or more years of tenure in their congregation are significantly healthier than the 2.1 to 4.9 year group. The pattern likely reflects a selection effect—pastors who are relatively unhealthy in their current setting change churches or leave the ministry, leaving only those who are relatively satisfied in place.