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Research Highlights

Research Highlights

The Seminary's grant research profile has grown while focusing on a number of strategically important fields of study. Use the interactive directory below to learn more about research projects.


The Isaiah Partnership: Pastors Leading Innovation

- November 2021

Overview

The Isaiah Partnership: Pastors Leading Innovation will test two models of pastoral leadership formation that foster innovation and change in, with, and through congregations. These models will inform how Princeton Theological Seminary prepares students in degree and non-degree programs to lead innovation and catalyze change in their communities and by mobilizing lay persons in congregations. Concurrently, this project will engage Princeton Seminary faculty in creating a theological framework for innovation and change leadership, in which innovation is understood as participation in God’s “new thing” in Jesus Christ (Isa. 43:19).

PROJECT LEADER
Abigail Rusert, Director of Program Design and the Institute for Youth Ministry

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Thriving Congregations

- December 2019

Overview

Princeton Theological Seminary requested a 3-year grant to establish the “Imagining Church” project. In the first phase, digital ethnography was undertaken to develop portraits of 23 thriving congregations from among a variety of candidates recommended by denominational leaders and fellow ecclesial researchers. The aim was to expand upon the seven key characteristics of thriving congregations, as identified by previous researchers, by helping to identify That Extra Special Something (TESS), which researchers claim “is probably the most important factor” in breathing life into a congregation and its ministries.

CO-DIRECTORS
Gordon Mikosky, Associate Professor of Christian Education
Erin Raffety, Empirical Research Consultant

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Disabilities and Church

- January 2019

Overview

The “Disability and the Church” project, funded by a Project Grant for Researchers through the Louisville Institute and led by the Rev. Dr. Erin Raffety and a team of 5 research assistants, conducted ethnographic research with 11 congregations, ministries, and families with people with disabilities in New York City, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania from 2019-2020 in order to gauge challenges and best practices in congregational ministry with people with disabilities

DIRECTOR(S)
Erin Raffety, Empirical Research Consultant

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The Log College Project

- November 2017

Overview

The Log College Project is an innovative initiative at Princeton Theological Seminary to help Christian congregations design, test, and implement new models of youth ministry. Twelve congregations will receive $15,000 grants to build new ministries that take theology and young people seriously. This project is funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., built by the Institute for Youth Ministry, and housed at Princeton Theological Seminary.

PROJECT LEADER
Abigail Rusert, Director of Program Design and the Institute for Youth Ministry

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The Confirmation Project

- June 2014

Overview

The Confirmation Project seeks to learn the extent to which confirmation and equivalent practices in five Protestant denominations in North America are effective for strengthening discipleship in youth. These denominations include the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church in the USA, and the United Methodist Church. It seeks to provide Christian leaders with examples of good practice and with strategies that are effective in helping young Christians grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. Strengthening discipleship includes nurturing faith in Jesus Christ and facilitating youth encounters with Christian traditions (Scripture, creeds, confessions, and practices) to support lifelong Christian vocation. This project is funded by the Christian Youth: Learning and Living the Faith grant provided by the Lilly Endowment, Inc..

CO-DIRECTOR(S)
Katie Douglass, Co-Director for Research
Richard Osmer, Ralph B. and Helen S. Ashenfelter Professor of Mission and Evangelism

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Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church, Crystal City, Missouri

Joshua Noah, Class of 2015

“Through my field education placement at Trinity Presbyterian Church in East Brunswick, New Jersey, I discovered my gift to minister to all age groups.”