|Postdoctoral Associate, Ormond Center Thriving Congregations Studio|
Part of Duke Divinity School, Ormond Center for Thriving Congregations and Communities fosters the imagination, will, and ability of congregations and communities to be agents of thriving. We seek to equip and mobilize a generation of practitioners who can assess what works and what matters, while relentlessly pursuing transformation for the good of all. Our work guides congregations and communities to navigate uncertain times.
Ormond Center invites applications for a Postdoctoral Associate with an initial appointment of 12 months. This position is term-limited but may be reviewed for renewal pending funding from external sponsors and exceptional performance.
Ormond Center brings people together to reimagine the most urgent needs for twenty-first century thriving through five studios. This position will be primarily associated with Ormond Center’s Thriving Congregations Studio, which seeks to understand and deepen Christian life together through the Church’s witness and its missional calling.
This position will be associated with some of the core research projects associated with the Thriving Congregations Studio. These projects involve groundbreaking national studies, large-scale partnerships with major denominations, and individual ecclesial leaders. The major research opportunities include, but are not limited to:
• Caring for Clergy Field Guide: The first national study of the field that supports and sustains clergy, ranging from denominational officials, funders, pension and benefits officers, continuing educators, and frontline providers. This study examines the organization, conceptualization, and activity of the field and seeks to become an agenda setting resource for those in it.
Other Potential Responsibilities
• Dynamic Faith Communities Planning Grant: In direct partnership with The Presbyterian Church (USA), this study seeks to develop a multi-year national research agenda that will become a signature, legacy project of the PC(USA). This project will produce inspiring stories, practical tools, and actionable recommendations and will identify and begin to understand faithful congregations, their leaders, and their resources thriving in today’s context.
• Seminary to Early Ministry Study: The Seminary to Early Ministry Study is the first major longitudinal study examining divinity school education. Our aim is ambitious: To paint the most comprehensive picture of how divinity school students are formed throughout their training and into the early stages of their careers. Through this, we hope to spark informed conversations about divinity school education and to shape the future of ministry.
• Reflections Study: A qualitative interview study with North Carolina Methodist Clergy.
More information on the Thriving Congregations Studio and Ormond Center may be found here: https://www.ormondcenter.com/thriving-congregations .
The successful candidate will support all research aspects of the Thriving Congregations Studio. Duties include instrument design, participant recruitment, qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis, writing manuscripts for practitioner field guides and peer-reviewed journals, supervising data collection, and advancing intellectual and methodological rigor. This position will be supervised by Thad Austin, Ph.D., Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives and Congregational Engagement. The successful candidate will be part of a larger team of Ormond Center staff and its partners.
The Postdoctoral Appointee holds a PhD or equivalent doctorate (e.g. ScD, MD, DVM) in sociology or a related discipline. Candidates with non-US degrees may be required to provide proof of degree equivalency. A candidate may also be appointed to a postdoctoral position if the candidate has completed all of the requirements for a degree but the degree has not been formally conferred: in this case, the candidate may present evidence of completion of the degree requirements, together with a statement documenting the date on which the degree is to be conferred. If the degree is not conferred by this projected date, the postdoctoral appointment may be terminated.
Candidates must have research interests in clergy, congregations, and/or theological education. Familiarity with the religious intuitions, especially Protestant Christian denominations, is considered an asset. Authorship on practitioner and peer reviewed manuscripts is considered a major asset. The Thriving Congregations Studio research involves mixed methods. For this position, robust qualitative expertise is mandatory and familiarity with quantitative research methods is preferred. Experience with mixed methods research is considered a plus.
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