Parish Transitions Archive

Nancy Ammerman picture
Dr. Nancy T. Ammerman , Professor of Sociology of Religion and Assoc. Dean of the Faculty for the Social Sciences in the College
Dr. Brian McCorkle, Former Research Assistant Professor, School of Theology and Former Director, Center for the Study of Religion and Psychology, Danielsen Institute Academic Faculty
Shelly Rambo picture
Dr. Shelly Rambo, Associate Professor of Theology at Boston University School of Theology

Parish Transitions Archive:
Recording the Stories

Principal Investigator: Dr. Brian McCorkle

Co-Investigators: Dr. Nancy Ammerman, Professor of Sociology of Religion and Dr. Shelly Rambo, Assistant Professor of Theology

This project developed an archive of the lived experience of people of faith during one historical moment of major, if not cataclysmic, congregational change.  The perspectives of the people affected by the closing of Roman Catholic parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston were recorded while it was actually happening and immediately afterwards.  This process affected many aspects of life for people of faith: their relationship with God, church hierarchy, and pastors; their personal theologies; their personal faith and spiritual journeys; and perhaps even their emotional well-being.  Field research staff conducted open-ended qualitative interviews with individuals and focus groups.  These interviews were audiotaped with participants’ knowledge and transcribed for later analysis.  This data repository can be returned to for further analysis for years to come by students of congregational development, the sociology of religion, and the psychology of religion.