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Emerging research on practices, patterns and space in worship

A panel of teacher-scholars with research projects focused on practices, patterns and space in worship share the fruits of their research, with a special focus on the implications of their research for worshiping communities.

This panel, moderated by Maria Cornou was part of the 2021 Virtual Vital Worship Grants Event. Panelists received Vital Worship Grants from CICW to do research that serves worshiping communities by strengthening Christian public worship practices. Panelists are listed below with a brief description of their research project, can be found below.


  • Rhoda Schuler and Kent Burreson (Concordia University)   
    To analyze the field research data on the adult catechumenate in the Lutheran church and to offer workshops that help pastors and congregations envision an adult catechumenal model that could transform their congregations. 
  • Ron Rienstra (Western Theological Seminary) 
    To write a book comprised of brief essays that explore the deep patterns in worship as well as in worship's constituent parts (ordo, scripture, sermon, song, prayer, actions).
  • Benjamin Meagher (Hope College)  
    To study how the physical design and layout of a worship space influences the experience and reflects the religious identity of the congregation that worships there.