CSR is working away on two major projects related to the Christian Reformed Church, Calvin College’s parent church.
A report to the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence (SPE) program on the Spring 2007 survey of pastors and clerks of council, to be presented to the SPE advisory board at their November 15 meeting and posted for public view thereafter. The report will compare results with the first wave conducted in 2004-2005, documented in a 2005 report.
The fifth quinquennial (every five years since 1987) survey of CRC members and attenders, conducted in the CRC’s Sesquicentennial (150th) year. The new survey is sponsored by the Ministry Council of the CRCNA, led by former CSR director Rodger Rice, and scheduled for all-electronic deployment later this fall.
|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.