Position Announcement: Principal Investigator, Religious Workforce Project

4500 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20016-5690 ~ (202) 885-8600 ~ (202) 885-8605 ~ www.wesleyseminary.edu


Principal Investigator, Religious Workforce Project

Located in Washington, DC, Wesley Theological Seminary is a graduate theological school of The United Methodist Church that prepares women and men to be exceptional leaders, teachers, and preachers. Our culturally and ethnically diverse student body represents nearly 40 different Christian denominations, from nearly every state in the union, and from every continent on earth except Antarctica. Our graduates go on to lead churches, nonprofits, justice and advocacy programs, international NGO’s, community health programs, and helping agencies around the world. A single graduating class of Wesley scholars will positively impact more than half-a-million people in their ministry careers.


Position Description:

Wesley Theological Seminary, a seminary of the United Methodist Church in Washington, DC, invites applications for a full-time, three-year position as the Principal Investigator for the Religious Workforce Project from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2022. The position is made possible by a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. to research the changing patterns among the workforce of U.S. Christian congregations.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • As Principal Investigator, ensure that the Religious Workforce Project achieves its stated goals, on schedule, and with the highest research standards
  • Organize and execute the qualitative research components of the grant
  • Collaborate on accessing other staffing needs related to research components
  • Collaborate on the quantitative components of the research
  • Report to the Director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership and serve on staff
  • Have faculty standing (non-tenure track) with occasional teaching as negotiated


The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in sociology of religion, practical theology or a related discipline is required, although ABD candidates will be considered. Demonstrated familiarity in the areas of congregational studies, demographic studies and knowledge of existing national congregational surveys are desirable.

  • Rooted in the ecumenical Christian heritage
  • Demonstrated competence and experience in qualitative research is a requirement. 
  • Competency in SPSS, Python or some other statistical analysis software is desirable. 

Salary is commensurate with education and experience.


To Apply:

Send a letter of intent, curriculum vitae, and the names and positions of three references for an initial screening of candidates to: F. Douglas Powe, Jr., lewiscenter@wesleyseminary.edu, Lewis Center for Church Leadership, www.churchleadership.com

Posted:                              Closes: When filled

Wesley Theological Seminary is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with a disability. Wesley Theological Seminary values diversity and inclusion. We value diversity within our students, faculty, and staff, and strive to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people.

An offer of employment is contingent upon the establishment of identity and verification of employment eligibility as required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, as well as a background check and supporting references.

Beyond the Ivory Tower Workshop: September 2019

September 20-21, 2019
Northeastern University

Attendees will receive instruction in writing for the public from New York Times senior opinion editor James Ryerson, as well as a $1,750 honorarium to cover workshop expenses.

The workshop is open to natural scientists, social scientists, and philosophers with PhDs that want to build their communication skills, and who are passionate about bringing their ideas to the public via articles and essays in major media outlets. The workshop will focus on how to conceptually frame scholarly work for a wider audience, how to structure the writing of such pieces, and how to most effectively “pitch” editors at magazines and newspapers.

Applications are due June 7, and should include three paragraph-long descriptions of a piece the applicant would like to write, a writing sample of up to 1,500 words, and a CV. Materials can be submitted to: http://www.northeastern.edu/cos/workshop-scholars-writing-public.<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.northeastern.edu%2Fcos%2Fworkshop-scholars-writing-public%2F&data=01%7C01%7Ckevin_dougherty%40baylor.edu%7Cf0415546fa914767d27b08d6c746c43b%7C22d2fb35256a459bbcf4dc23d42dc0a4%7C0&sdata=OgZiwu9PrMN1XDPUCNDcGFjMlHIOwyhaxxCWXkShAPg%3D&reserved=0>

Direct questions to David DeSteno at d.desteno@gmail.com<mailto:d.desteno@gmail.com>.

AAR / Sociology of Religion Unit, Call for Papers

 American Academy of Religion

Annual Meeting
San Diego, CA
November 23-26, 2019

Sociology of Religion Unit
Call for Papers


Statement of Purpose: 

The Sociology of Religion (SOR) Unit of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) serves as a bridge between religious studies and the subdiscipline of sociology of religion. It functions as a two-way conduit not only to import sociological research into religious studies but also to export the research of religious studies into both the subdiscipline and the broader field of sociology. Only through a cross-fertilization transgressing departmental boundaries can there be breakthroughs in research in both fields. The unit has a wide conception of sociology of religion. It is open to a multiplicity of paradigms and methodologies utilized in the subfield and sociology more broadly: theoretical as well as empirical, quantitative, qualitative, and comparative-historical. By liaising with other Program Units, the Sociology of Religion Unit is able to bring the rich diversity of critical and analytical perspectives that are housed in the American Academy of Religion into mainstream sociology of religion. Conversely, it aims to provide scholars of the study of religion with a deeper understanding of the landscape of sociology of religion.

Call for Papers:
The purpose of the Sociology of Religion program unit of the American Academy of Religion is to bridge the gap and generate cross-fertilization between the Sociology of Religion and Religious Studies. We are open to papers in all areas and therefore encourage submissions of any topic relevant to the sociology of religion. This year, we are particularly interested in the following topics:

  • Topics related to San Diego (Immigration/Latinx experiences, militarism, etc.) and public intellectuals (which is the theme of the conference)
  • Pedagogical panel: sociology of religion is taught in both sociology and religious studies departments. However, in religious studies departments, so as not to conflict with the turf of sociology departments, it is often called “religion and society.” For this panel, we are interested in comparing how sociology of religion is taught in sociology and religious studies departments
  • W.E.B. DuBois’s relevance to the sociology of religion
  • A return to Jane Addams and others whose work refutes an epistemic split between sociology and activism
  • Relevance/relationship of quantitative to qualitative research
  • Applied sociology as a form of pubic intellectual work

The Sociology of Religion Unit of AAR regularly co-sponsors panels with the peer-reviewed print and online journal Critical Research on Religion (CRR) (http://crr.sagepub.com). Published by SAGE Publications, the journal has over 8000 subscriptions worldwide and is ranked by Scopus #16 out of 432 religion journals (https://www.scimagojr.com/journalrank.php?category=1212). Presenters of promising papers in SOR panels will be invited to turn their papers into articles and submit them for peer review to CRR.



Please submit paper and session proposals through the AAR SOR Unit Portal: https://papers.aarweb.org/content/sociology-religion-unit

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection

For further information, please contact AAR SOR Unit Co-Chairs:
Rebekka King, rebekka.king@mtsu.edu

Warren S. Goldstein, goldstein@criticaltheoryofreligion.org