Handbook for Congregational Studies Revision

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Sun, 11/01/1992
End Date: 
Tue, 12/31/1996

William McKinney directed the “Congregational Project Studies” team that implemented a comprehensive revision and expansion of their earlier “Handbook for Congregational Studies,” published by Abingdon Press in 1987. The publisher invited the team to consider updating their first edition, originally designed as a practical resource for pastors, seminarians and congregation members. Their work resulted in a revised book entitled Studying Congregations, published by Abingdon Press in 1998. <p> Members of the Congregational Project Team during the project period included: Nancy T. Ammerman (Hartford Seminary); Jackson W. Carroll (Duke Divinity School); Rebecca Chopp (Candler School of Theology); Carl S. Dudley (Hartford Seminary); Nancy Eiesland (Candler School of Theology); Ardith Hayes (Pacific School of Religion); William McKinney (Pacific School of Religion); Lawrence H. Mamiya (Vassar College); Robert J. Schreiter (Catholic Theological Union); R. Stephen Warner (University of Illinois at Chicago); Jack Wertheimer (Jewish Theological Seminary of America); and Barbara G. Wheeler (Auburn Theological Seminary). Few other scholars in congregational studies were also invited to contribute to the writing and development of the new book. <p> The team divided their work into three phases. The first phase continued previous investigations into congregational studies with an eye to the revision of the 1987 Handbook. The second phase focused on the design and implementation of the new book’s chapters. The team designed the new resource to be more useful and responsive beyond their original experiential base into white Protestant Christianity. New chapters gave attention to expanded issues in congregational theology, culture, leadership and resources. The final phase included the Congregational Studies Institute which met June 13-18, 1996 at Hartford Seminary and attracted over 60 participants ranging from evangelical and mainline Protestants, Roman Catholic, Jewish and Muslim groups to hear, evaluate, and offer changes to the proposed book’s new material.