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Free Religion Research Webinars Aim to Help Churches Thrive


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Free Religion Research Webinars Aim to Help Churches Thrive

FāVS News Brief by Tracy Simmons

The Hartford Institute for Religion Research will be offering a free webinar series this month to help faith leaders better understand the challenges and possibilities for congregations and pastors to thrive.

Each week researchers will offer a breakfast webinar and Q&A period to explore the latest church research and insights for beginning the ministry year full of optimism and direction.

They will take place Thursdays from 9:15 – 10:30 a.m. PST. 

Register online here.

A list of the first webinars and who will be speaking are as follows:

Jan. 11, 2024: Clergy Health and Well-Being

  • Scott Thumma, Hartford Institute for Religion Research
  • Charissa Mikoski, Hartford Institute for Religion Research
  • Brittany Watts, Hartford Institute for Religion Research

Attendees will hear about their latest study on clergy wellness, both what contributes to stress and diminishes it.

Jan. 18, 2024: Multifaith Patterns   

  • Aaron Speigel, Synagogue Studies Institute
  • Mike McMullen, University of Houston-Clear Lake
  • Allison Norton, Hartford Institute for Religion Research

They will explore the variety of ways faith groups have responded to the challenges of the pandemic. This webinar is co-sponsored with Faith Communities Today.

Jan. 25, 2024: Latino, Black & Multiracial Church Dynamics

  • Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi, Iliff School of Theology
  • Brittany Watts, Hartford Institute for Religion Research

Those who join in on this webinar will take a deep dive into the distinctive patterns and dynamics of Black, Latino and Multiracial churches.

Feb. 1, 2024: Technological Innovation

  • Heidi Campbell, Texas A&M University
  • Charissa Mikoski, Hartford Institute for Religion Research

Hybrid worship is here to stay but how else are the technological changes of the past few years reshaping congregational life? This webinar will answer that question.

Webinars are slated to continue monthly throughout the year. On March 7 will be “The Most Effective Clergy Wellness Measures.” 

Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of FāVS.News, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.


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