CARD is excited to introduce three new contributors to our blog! They will offer more detailed introductions as part of their first posts, but here is a little bit of information about each of these amazing individuals to whet your appetite:
Rev. Dr. William (Bill) McKinney is President Emeritus of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. He is an ordained UCC minister, sociology of religion scholar, and current adjunct faculty at Hartford Seminary, where he previously served as Dean for 11 years. Bill was the Director of Research for the United Church of Christ in the 1970s and 1980s and also has his own blog with PSR. He is the co-author of American Mainline Religion: Its Changing Shape and Future (1987), which still holds relevant and vital implications for congregations today, and Studying Congregations: A New Handbook (1998), a seminal work that is a must-read for all seminarians and clergy.
Rev. Dr. Kirk Foster is Assistant Professor in the College of Social Work at South Carolina University. He is also an ordained UCC minister with standing in the St. Louis Association of the Missouri Mid-South Conference. “Having worked as a local church pastor in diverse communities,” as stated in his faculty profile, “Dr. Foster focuses his research on religious congregations and community-based organizations as brokers of resources necessary for social and economic development among the poor.” His forthcoming book, Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes Our Fortunes, offers research-based insights regarding Americans’ perceptions about poverty.
Dr. Marjorie H. Royle of Clay Pots Research is a former Director of Research for the United Church of Christ. She has researched and written extensively about worship, congregational vitality, and clergy leadership and most recently served as the UCC’s project researcher for both the Faith Communities Today (FACT) Study and the U.S. Congregational Life Survey (USCLS). Her latest report, FACTs on Worship: 2010, is meant to help congregations understand how worship practices can affect their vitality and inspire their members. Marge has also written several UCC-specific reports analyzing FACT and USCLS survey data. Her latest research project involves a multi-denominational study on new churches, conducted in partnership with the Center for Progressive Renewal.
Please join CARD in welcoming these three outstanding individuals to the blog – we are truly grateful for their willingness to share their wisdom, insights, and current research interests with the wider church!