About Resources for American Christianity

About Resources for American Christianity
This web site seeks to assist leaders and participants in Christian communities, scholars and other interested publics in better understanding the impact, trends and trajectories of Christianity in American society. By providing both information and reflection on selected projects funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc., it offers a unique vantage point for discerning the character and contributions of this tradition within American religion and culture.

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Architects, Database Development Managers and Researchers of the Web site


This web site is the successor to a web-based pilot project. That pilot grew out of the imagination of the Religion Division staff at the Lilly Endowment Inc. who were eager to employ electronic media as a vehicle for disseminating the rich findings of Lilly-funded projects. Craig Dykstra, Jeanne Knoerle and Kathleen Cahalan provided continuing oversight and leadership in the development of the project.

As a way to begin the effort, the Lilly Endowment asked Auburn Theological Seminary to explore new ways of making the results of Lilly-funded projects in religion more widely available. Auburn developed a prototype electronic publication that in turn led to the creation of a pilot database. This database was eventually mounted on the web and evaluated by a variety of individuals from the church community, the academy and the library world. The encouragement and recommendations for improvement from those evaluations provided direction for reshaping the database into a more extensive web site.

Milton J Coalter, the library director at Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education, redeveloped the site into its current shape with the assistance of John R. Wimmer, program officer in the Lilly Endowment's Religion division, and technical consultants first from Quilogy, Inc. and later from Shailesh Mark of Data Management & Consultancy Services, Inc.