Hartford Institute for Religion Research

Bridging scholarship and the practice of faith

The Hartford Institute for Religion Research (HIRR) studies and communicates what is happening in religious life today and since 1971. From groundbreaking studies on the movement of women into the role of clergy to the timely assessment of trends in church membership – the Hartford Institute explores how people of different faiths are forming and reforming their institutions.

The Institute’s projects and research findings have appeared in books and news outlets such as the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and hundreds more. The work of the Institute includes pioneering creative methods for the study of congregations through a national multi-faith survey that has gathered unprecedented, comprehensive data on the nation's congregations.

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Featured Projects

Faith Communities Today logo

Faith Communities Today

A series of ongoing research surveys and practical reports about congregational life in the U.S. conducted and published by the Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership, a multireligious research initiative of 25+ different faith groups working in partnership with Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

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Pastoral Innovation Network of New England

The initiative supports New England clergy and denominations in engaging the most pressing challenges they face today. As a cross-denominational innovation hub, early-career clergy will meet with experienced coaches and mentors to highlight effective approaches to pastoral challenges and ministry revitalization in the New England context.

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Pastoral Innovation Network of New England

Meet Our Team

Scott Thumma

Professor of Sociology of Religion

Dr. Scott Thumma is Professor of Sociology of Religion and director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research at Hartford International University. He has published numerous research reports, website documents, articles, and chapters on religious life in addition to co-authoring three books, The Other 80 Percent, Beyond Megachurch Myths and Gay Religion.

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Allison Norton

Faculty Associate in Migration Studies and Congregational Life, Director of The Pastoral Innovation Network of New England

Dr. Allison Norton is the Faculty Associate in Migration Studies and Congregational Life at Hartford International University, where she directs the Pastoral Innovation Network of New England.

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