About Our Project

Building on previous research, the Religious Workforce Project is an unprecedented effort to understand the nation’s religious workforce in a comprehensive way. The Project includes a national meta-analysis and a qualitative study in the Washington, DC metro area. Funding for the project is generously provided by The Lilly Endowment, Inc. 

News & Updates

Our Prior Research

Several research projects by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership paved the way for the current Religious Workforce Project.

New Research Study Launches

Wesley Theological Seminary has launched an initiative to study the makeup of the religious workforce across Christian traditions in the U.S.

The Religious Workforce Project will provide us a better picture of the nature, makeup, and roles of this workforce within and across traditions over time to help guide congregations in the future.

– Rev. Dr. F. Douglas Powe

Project Dashboard

Qualitative Study

Congregational Mapping
Interviews & Observations
  • Fall 2019. Pilot project launches in Logan Circle neighborhood.
  • Spring 2020. Fieldwork begins for DMV Study. 
  • March 2020. Fieldwork suspended due to Covid-19 pandemic. 
  • September 2020. Fieldwork resumes with remote protocols. 
  • January 2021. Urban Cohort, Wave 1 completed.

Quantitative Study

Quantitative Research
Denominational Data Partnerships
Data Re-coding
  • Fall 2019. ELCA joins UMC as our first two denominational partners.
  • Summer 2020. Preliminary research reports send to denominations. 
  • September 2020. RWP receives 20-year trend data from denominations. 
  • October 2021. RWP reports on UMC congregations with multiple pastors.
  • January 2021. Church of the Nazarene provides 20-year trend data.

For Researchers

The Religious Workforce Project is committed to sharing its method, data, and findings with other academic and denominational researchers. We welcome your interest and feedback at any point along the way. If you have any questions, please feel free to visit our Team page to contact a member of our research team. You can view all our documentation and learn more about our methodology below. Most of our data sets will eventually be made available if allowed by the terms of our data sharing agreements.

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