Digital Connection and Community Survey

June 22, 2020

By: Everything Happens

June 22, 2020

Dear Colleagues in Ministry: 

We are all built for connection. Over the last two decades, we have seen modern notions of what constitutes “connection” change radically, and nowhere is that more visible than in the digital lives of Americans. Despite the need for connection and the expanding role of digital media into religious life, little is known about how digital media fosters community and the forms of leadership that can support congregations’ engagement in digital spaces. We need your help to fill this gap in knowledge.

With funding from the Duke Endowment, the Everything Happens initiative at Duke Divinity School is conducting a study to better understand the relationship between digital media, spiritual formation, and religious leadership. You are invited to participate in this study.

To ensure that your congregation is represented in this study, your participation is critical. Participation involves completing a 40-minute online survey that asks general questions about your congregation’s and your personal engagement with digital media and specific questions about digital connection and community amid Covid-19. We have taken several precautions to ensure the protection and confidentiality of the information you provide. In addition, nothing will be published that identifies specific characteristics of you or your congregation.

The information generated from this study will help pastors, congregations, funders, theological educators, and scholars to better understand the shifting relationship between digital media, community, and religious leadership.
Overall, we care deeply about the vitality of congregations and recognize the complex challenge you face on a daily basis. We want to support the flourishing of your congregation and your vocation as a pastor within your community. Based on what we learn from you and your community, we plan to develop resources that address some of the needs you identify.
As a token of our commitment and to express our appreciation for your participation in this study, we will randomly select fifty participants to receive a book bundle that includes resources from Dr. Bowler and other Duke Divinity School Faculty.

You can complete the survey now by going to If you have any questions or encounter technical difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact us at


Dr. Kate Bowler                
Associate Professor 

Dr. Katherine Smith                                     
Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives 

Dr. Dustin Benac
Postdoctoral Associate      

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