This practical handbook - aimed at final year undergraduates, Masters-level students, student ministers, church leaders and policy makers interested in local faith communities - guides readers through the various tools, methods of analysis and research skills needed for studying local churches. This resource takes full account of the UK context and is an ideal basis for students undertaking research projects and dissertations.
After an historical overview. the handbook identifies theoretical foundations for the study of local churches, drawing on the 4 disciplines of anthropology, sociology, organisational studies and theology. Guidance is provided on both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Research processes covered include such issues as selecting a church, gaining access, selecting methods,analysing data, maintaining confidentiality, research reflexivity, and completing the final report.
There is also a critical review of existing literature, as well as case studies and worked examples, demonstrating how key concepts from the 4 disciplines apply to actual local churches.The handbook contains a wide range of contributors with extensive theoretical and practical experience of studying local churches.