Parish Transitions Project

In January 2005, we began a series of research studies of the effects of parish reorganization in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States.

Previous research indicated that major organizational and life transitions affect various people in different ways. We sought to clarify the effects that these changes are having on a wide variety of people—laity, clergy, and diocesan administrators—and to identify what factors affect those changes positively and negatively.

These studies led to a series of projects involving the health and well-being of clergy in a variety of denominations.

Parish Transitions Web Survey

Principal Investigator: Rev. James Burns, PhD

Team Members: Ruben Hopwood, Brian McCorkle, Sarah Whitman.

  • Burns, J. P., & McCorkle, B. H. (2005, November). “An Internet survey of parish closings and reorganizations in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.” Paper presented at the Religious Research Association/Society for the Scientific Study of Religion joint annual conference, Rochester, NY.
  • McCorkle, B. H. & Burns, J. P. (2006, March). “Religious coping among Roman Catholics: New R-COPE factors from a Catholic sample. Paper to be presented at the Division 36 Midyear Research Conference on Religion and Spirituality, Columbia, MD.

Parish Transitions Archive

We interviewed a wide variety of people from around the diocese, both individually and in groups, and asked them to tell us, in their own words, what this experience has been like for them.

Principal Investigator: Brian McCorkle.

Co-Researchers: Nancy Ammerman, Shelly Rambo.

Team Members: James Burns, Aimee Radom, Paul Thayer, Emily Curtin Culler.

  • McCorkle, B. H., & Burns, J. P. (2005, April). “Parish transitions: The effects of closing Boston-area Roman Catholic parishes.” Paper presented at the APA Division 36 Annual Midyear Research Conference on Religion and Spirituality, Columbia, MD.
  • McCorkle, B. H. (2005, November). “Gathering qualitative data about parish closings and reorganizations in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.” Paper presented at the Religious Research Association/Society for the Scientific Study of Religion joint annual conference, Rochester, NY.