Past Projects

Undergraduate Fellow Program

The Undergraduate Fellows Program in the Center for the Study of Religion and Society is focused on mentoring undergraduate scholars in the social scientific study of religion. The Fellows will be equipped to explore the possibility of becoming academic scholars in a variety of disciplines and fields. Each Fellow will spend a year conducting their own funded research project of personal interest and writing a paper based on their findings, presented at a public forum at the end of the school year. Combined with this independent research Fellows will also be mentored by a faculty member. In addition to these goals, they will also participate in the Center’s events, attending meetings, lectures, and awards ceremonies. By the time the year-long Fellowship has been completed, Fellows will have had the opportunity to research a religion-related topic of personal interest in a supportive and resource-rich context, to participate in an intellectual community of scholars interested in religion and society, to learn more about what life as a religion-research academic scholar is like, and to prepare for possible application to top graduate programs that involve the study of religion. For more information, click here Fellows_call_for_application_2014.pdf.


Polarization in the US Catholic Church Conference

Mary Ellen Konieczny organized and hosted this two day conference that explored the brokenness of the body of Christ in the United States. This conference hosted a diverse group of Catholics that came together to name the wounds – with the goal of beginning to heal. The panel addressed the question of “How can we heal the division and reestablish the virtues of solidarity, love, and humility at the heart of the Christian message.”


The Panel Study on American Religion and Ethnicity (PS-ARE)

The PS-ARE is an unprecedented, multi-level panel study focused on religion in the U.S., with a particular focus on capturing ethnic and racial diversity. The PS-ARE seeks to show the impact of religion in everyday life. It includes substantive modules on family relationships, deviance, health, civic participation and volunteering, moral and social attitudes, and race and ethnic issues. In time, this panel study is expected to develop into a multi-wave longitudinal study comprising both individual and congregational level data. The PS-ARE, which is directed by Dr. David Sikkink, generously funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., involves additional funding from the John Templeton Foundation, and is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Michael Emerson at Rice University.


Northern Indiana Congregation Study (NICS)

This project conducted year-long ethnographic research with 4 local religious congregations, collected participant observation field notes on 241 services, events, meetings, and groups and collected and transcribed 198 in-person interviews, with an 88 % response rate. Data analysis has produced 12 papers for conference presentations and journal articles.


Southern Arizona Congregations Study

The Southern Arizona Congregations Study is a project led by Dr. Kraig Beyerlein which studies congregation-based mobilizations efforts to provide humanitarian aid to migrants along the Sonora-Arizona border.


Humanitarian Service Young Adult Volunteer Project

Dr. Kraig Beyerlein works with Notre Dame undergraduate students to participate in an alternative spring break trip along the Arizona-Mexico border.


South Bend Area Youth and Religion (SBAYR)

As a local extension of the National Survey of Youth and Religion (NSYR) project, this year the CSRS completed a project focused on the South Bend area surrounding the University of Notre Dame. The project team created a directory of local churches, contacted all South Bend area churches to collect some basic information regarding the church and their youth program, and conducted and analyzed in-depth personal interviews with 42 youth workers.


Religion Survey Data Expansion Project (RelSDEP)

Funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation for a project on “Innovative Research on Generosity”, the RelSDEP project increased the availability of a large number of top quality survey dataset resources for the study of religion and spirituality and to increase the number of capable social science scholars analyzing religious and spiritual factors in the operation of human social life. The collaborative project committee of highly experienced social science survey researchers with interests in religion and spirituality will comparatively evaluate the merits of specific new or revised religion and spirituality survey questions and investigate well established, high quality, and highly respected existing surveys on which these questions could be placed.


The Religious Financial and Charitable Giving Project 

This project conducted secondary analyses of survey data and primary data collection through personal interviews to better understand patterns and dynamics of religious and charitable giving in the U.S., particularly among American Christians. This project conducted secondary analyses of survey data and primary data collection through personal interviews to better understand patterns and dynamics of religious and charitable giving in the U.S., particularly among American Christians. This project continued through the 2007-08 academic year with 1) finalization of the publication of a book by Oxford University Press to be released the following fall and 2) promotion and presentation of book findings through conferences, colloquia, and talks.


Religion and Public Activism Survey (RAPAS)

The 2002 RAPAS telephone surveyed English-speaking American adults from April to July 2002 using a random-digit-dial method to understand volunteering for 9/11 disaster relief efforts and religion and social trust.


Religious School Outcomes Study (RSOS)

The RDV Corporation funded seed money to begin gathering data for a religious school outcomes study through web programming, sampling, and data collection.