Studying theological education, faith communities, and faith-rooted social movements to understanding how faith leaders are best prepared


Our research and consulting combines knowledge-building, consulting and evaluation to identify, train, and elevate multifaith leaders and institutions with the skills and resolve needed to create a more just world.

  • Congregations and Movements
    Analyzing faith communities and faith-rooted justice organizations and movements
  • Theological
    The Center for the Study of Theological Education
  • Public
    Research and message development engaging the most pressing social issues of today
  • Scholar
    Curating spaces to engage in shared research and networking for scholar-activists


Studying Congregations and Movements

Auburn researches faith communities and faith-rooted justice organizations and movements as well as collaborates with other research organizations with the goal of equipping leaders to succeed in these challenging times. Our research focus and methods include:

  • Studying congregations and movements to understand the role of faith in social change
  • Action research with partners aiming at social change
  • Analyzing strategies that will change hearts & minds on social issues
  • Exploring effectively multifaith leadership education
  • Convening groups to explore the implications of our research
The Center for the Study of Theological Education

For over 25 years, we have been a trusted source of data and perspectives on the changing landscape of theological education in North America. Our research focuses on institutional innovation, dynamics in teaching and learning, and the relationship between theological education and the issues facing the broader public life of society.

View Reports:

Engaging Public Theologies

Using an “applied theology” methodology, Auburn investigates core strategies to more effectively equip leaders to succeed in challenging times, as well as strengthen understanding of emerging issues these leaders face.

We do this by marshaling the best theological, faith-rooted thinking on crucial issues of public concern with an aim to inform more effective leadership of and public engagement in social change.

View Reports:

Lo$ing Faith in Our Democracy
My Mind Was Changed

Losing Faith In Our Democracy


Convening Scholar-Activists

Throughout the year, Auburn convenes scholar-activists to encourage peer learning, to support their research, and to network.  These convenings have two key moments in the year. First, Auburn hosts an annual reception at the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature meeting the weekend before Thanksgiving each November. At this reception, we award the Auburn Walter Wink Scholar-Activist Award to someone who exemplifies this hybrid commitment in their life and work.

Each summer, Auburn partners with CrossCurrents to offer a month-long research fellowship focused on the intersection of scholarship and activism. The Colloquium offers an opportunity to explore the ways and means of enhancing impact and extending reach through use of various traditional and social media. We invite applications from scholars and writers, artists and activists, clergy and sociologists who are interested in faith-rooted work shaping a more just and peaceful world.

The 2016 CrossCurrents / Auburn Research Colloquium will be held in July in New York City. Selected fellows will work on a research or writing project related to the theme of “Climate Change, Food, and Human Sustainability,” with access to libraries and research facilities at Columbia University, Union, Auburn, and Jewish Theological Seminaries.