Through a competitive application process, the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative (PCRI) awarded five grants to research centers and 16 grants to individual scholars. The initiative provides funding for research in four specific geographic regions: Africa, Asia, Latin America and the former Soviet Union. (Please see the Frequently Asked Questions page for additional information on eligible regions.) Comparative research projects are also part of the initiative, including projects that explore the connections between Western countries and one or more of the four regions. Research projects engage topics of interest not only to Pentecostal and charismatic specialists, but to a broader group of scholars as well as journalists interested in the dynamics of social change and the potentially dynamic role of religion in this process. Projects involving only theological questions were not eligible under the request for proposals, but collaborative research and interdisciplinary projects involving theologians are included in the initiative.
Funded by the John Templeton Foundation, PCRI is intended to provide a scholarly framework to investigate Pentecostalism and the various renewal movements that have emerged in Roman Catholicism and mainline Protestantism. PCRI is administered by the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California. The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for research and discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. The foundation supports work at the world's top universities in such fields as theoretical physics, cosmology, evolutionary biology, cognitive science and social science relating to love, forgiveness, creativity, purpose and the nature and origin of religious belief. It also seeks to stimulate new thinking about freedom and free enterprise, character development and exceptional cognitive talent and genius.