Our Mission

Our mission at Charting Church Leadership is to recognize the church as a broad community with all the strengths and weaknesses of broader human society, and to recognize that theology and social science share many common subjects of interest, such as patterns of human behavior, performance, and morality. We believe that God’s design for our enjoyment of His creation is communicated in Scripture and through our study of creation.

Social science is neither the enemy of Christian belief nor a cure-all for sin and suffering; it is simply a useful means of illuminating how to apply of Scripture to contemporary society. Scholars from all nations and belief systems can produce work that helps the Church understand and achieve its mission.

We seek to “chart a course” to the future of the church through shared wisdom and, um, plenty of interactive data visualizations. No one said studying God’s Word and God’s world would have to be boring.

Read more in our initial post, About Charting Church Leadership. Please like CCL on Facebook.

Co-authors and guest posters welcome!

If you write well and share our community mission, your name belongs on a list below.

Neil-small-web Neil Carlson, PhD
Founding author
Director, Calvin College Center for Social Research

Neil Carlson is a graduate of Wheaton College and Duke University. He joined the Calvin College Center for Social Research (CSR) in 2004 as Assistant Director, then the sole full-time staff member. Today, CSR is a collegial team of seven staff and eight to twelve students. CSR conducts research and data analysis projects on behalf of Calvin faculty, the church, communities and organizations in West Michigan and beyond. The team emphasizes generosity and curiosity, applying social-science and Christian ethics both to projects and to CSR office culture.

The Carlsons are a classic geek family, reading, watching sci-fi, playing games, and camping out. Our boys, Jay and Colin, are gymnasts, roboticists, musicians, scholars, and Boy Scouts. LaVonne works for Friendship Ministries by day and leads Boy Scouts by night.All four Carlsons are involved at Shawnee Park Christian Reformed Church, where Neil teaches Sunday School to 11th and 12th graders and organizes transportation for college students.