|Constructing a study|
of faith and cities
CSR’s faculty Fellows for 2006-2008 are Drs. Mark Mulder of Sociology (on left above) and James K. A. Smith of Philosophy (on right above). The duo will present a report on their work in progress, “Subdivided by Faith,” at the conference on Ecclesiology and Ethnology at Yale University’s Center for Faith and Culture on Saturday morning, September 28.
In Spring 2007, students from Dr. Smith’s Philosophy of the Social Sciences class (PHIL 201/SOC 395) and Dr. Mulder’s Urban Sociology class (SOC 302) interviewed local residents from a wide range of religious traditions and geographies to gain insight into religious believers’ attitudes toward urban areas. The presentation at Yale will draw on the scholars’ early readings of these interview transcripts.
Here is a precis of the research project:
Our Calvin student team is wrapping up its summer work this week, and Calvin’s Media Relations folks have produced an excellent press release about KCCS, written primarily from the perspective of student team members.
The project is on schedule! As of this writing, CSR student Field Interviewers have completed 245 face-to-face interviews with Kent County religious leaders, as well as doing field research to winnow down an initial list of over 900 possible congregations to a current clean list of just over 760. Our four summer student research assistants have been a big help, too. Another 44 face-to-face interviews have been conducted by clergy liaisons, and 115 telephone interviews are complete, putting total response to date over 50%. Data collection will continue into the fall, with a smaller team of Calvin students cooperating with the clergy liaisons and telephone subcontractor.
Thanks to all our partners, and especially to the congregations themselves, for making KCCS work!
The previous director of the CSR, Kurt Schaefer, has recently retired from his position in order to work full time as a professor in the Economics Department. Jan Curry, Dean of Research and Scholarship at Calvin, is temporarily taking over the position of director while the search for a new director is conducted. See Jan Curry or the CSR staff (both located in Spoelhof) for a job description.
The CSR is also intently searching for a new student programmer. The graduation of Mark Van Holstyn has opened up a programming position at the CSR. See Neil Carlson (SC 207) or Nate Medeiros-Ward (SC206) for a job description.
Reporting on the responses of Alumni at one year, three years, and ten years after Calvin is almost completed. Each academic department will receive their own report based on Alumni and non-grad equivalent responses. In its second year, the number of respondents has increased for this entirely online survey project through the addition of the ten-year-out wave, while the response rate has remained static. Finished reports are due out in September.
|CSR’s major summer project, the Kent County Congregations Study, made the front page of the Grand Rapids Press newspaper today. In scope, KCCS is one of the most ambitious local studies of congregations ever undertaken. Because the goal is to learn how to provide better future service provision to the needy, the study aims to reach as much of the complete county population of congregations as possible. The CSR’s team of thirteen student field interviewers has conducted over ninety face-to-face interviews with local clergy since June 21, aiming for more than 250 completed interviews by August 20. Another team of interviewers at RDV Corporation will seek an additional 120 interviews with primarily African-American and Latino congregations, while the Center for Marketing and Opinion Research in Akron, Ohio has been contracted to contact another 250-plus by telephone. Update: we have a nice PDF of the Press article for online viewing only; contact us or the Press if you are interested in a print copy.|