USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

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Thriving Congregations Conversation with Mark Labberton

Fuller Seminary President Mark Labberton provides insights on developing ministries that address the needs and realities of the world, while cultivating an intentional awareness of God’s work and leading with openness, humility …

Conflict and Congregations: How Churches Respond to Politics and the Pandemic

As the 2022 midterm elections approach, little can be predicted—except, perhaps, that they will further cement the deep divides in our country. Those divides often extend into religious congregations. CRCC is a …

Resources for Thriving Congregations: Programs, Services and Models of Engagement

The USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture invited a number of guests at our conference on “Reimagining Ministry (Again)” to share programs, services or models of engagement that faith leaders can …

Reimagining (Again): Key Lessons on Ministry Sustainability in a Post-Pandemic World

The USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC) recently held its first in-person event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019. More than 70 clergy and faith-inspired community …

The End (of Lockdown) is Near: Opening Houses of Worship in a Time of Uncertainty

I had just announced our church’s plans to resume in-person worship when someone called and told me they had contracted COVID-19. Immediately, I second-guessed the decision to reopen our worship building for …

Technology, Innovation, and Thriving Congregations: Changing our Mindset

The COVID pandemic has highlighted the contingent nature of the ability of the local congregation to survive, let alone thrive. As limitations on meeting in person have been instituted, most congregations have …

Conversation 2: The Realities of Good Intentions

In our work at CRCC, we often interact with faith leaders who have wonderful plans for publicly engaged ministries and outreach programs. Indeed, our definition of a thriving congregation includes the twin …

Election Dissection: Understanding Faith and Politics in the 2020 Presidential Election

The November 2020 US Presidential election marked the end of the Trump presidency. The election also revealed new shifts in the way that Americans vote and self-identify in electoral politics. What does …

Politics, Divisions, Elections and Thriving Congregations

We often hear that politics and religion should never be broached in polite conversation. We beg to differ, and instead believe that both politics and religion tell us much about our personal …

Social Justice and Thriving Congregations

The recent protests and marches for civil rights, police reform and social justice inevitably implicate churches and other religious institutions. What is the relationship between seeking social justice and developing a thriving …

How Congregations Can Heal and Grow in the Face of Trauma

Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis (Pepperdine University) speaks about how pastors, congregational leaders and members can think about facing trauma. She talks about how people can heal and grow in response to traumatic life …

How Congregations Can Build and Nurture Relationships in Digital Spaces

Amanda Quraishi (Institute for Digital Civic Culture) provides insights on developing new and nurturing established relationships in a digital context when most are physically distanced. This was recorded as part of the …

Adaptive Approaches to Congregational Leadership

Quentin P. Kinnison (Fresno Pacific University) speaks on reimagining congregational leadership from a problem-solving approach to an adaptive approach that partners with congregants as together they face challenges and pursue new opportunities. …

From Competition to Collaboration – Creating Thriving Congregations

Eric Marsh (Long Beach Church Collective) has been successful in developing multiple collaborative initiatives among churches, other religious organizations, and the public sector in Long Beach, California. He provides some thoughts on …

A Spark To Set a Fire of Innovation: Reimagining Church

The following is excerpted from Richard Flory’s remarks at the first round in CRCC’s series “Conversations on Thriving Communities.” The goal of Reimagining Church Initiative is to bring together a group of …

What Opportunities Does Crisis Present to Thriving Congregations?

Conversations on Thriving Congregations is part of Reimagining Church Initiative at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture. This initiative seeks to bring church leaders together to reimagine the possibilities for …