Loyola University Chicago

McNamara Center

McNamara Research

Religion, Immigration and Civil Society in Chicago Project

Fred Kniss and Paul D. Numrich, principal investigators

The project was a three-year study of religion’s role in immigrant social life and civic engagement in metropolitan Chicago, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.  Studying immigrants congregations of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs, the analysis looked at both the levels of civic involvement and the different forms that involvement took.  Overall, it showed a vibrant connection between congregations of religious newcomers and education, healthcare, social services, and other types of civic engagement.  Several articles, and the book Sacred Assemblies (Kniss and Numrich, Rutgers University Press, 2007) resulted.


Youth and Religion Project

R. Stephen Warner and Rhys H. Williams, principal investigators

The project has been a multi-year study of youth (from high school age to college-age young adults) and their involvement in religious organizations.  Funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc., the Y&RP has studied religious congregations, church youth groups, campus religious groups, independent religious schools, and private families to see how youth participate in and use religious organizations, what they get from those groups, and how families work to pass on their faith traditions.  The data were drawn from individual and focus group interviews, site visits to religious organizations, and family-based participant observation – mostly in the Chicago area.  Along with a number of articles and book chapters, the results of the study will appear in Navigating to Faith (Warner and Williams, Rutgers University Press, forthcoming).