Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

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(1932-) Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams, Jr., Professor of Religion and Society and Director of the J. M. Ormond Center for Research, Planning and Development in the Divinity School of Duke University. President, Religious Research Association, 1983.

Following pastoral assignments in Scotland and South Carolina and four years as Methodist chaplain at Duke, Carroll completed his Ph.D. at Princeton University in 1970, where he studied with Samuel Blizzard. From 1968 to 1974, he was on the faculty of Candler School of Theology, Emory University, before moving to Hartford Seminary in 1974. At Hartford Seminary, he founded the Center for Social and Religious Research and served in a variety of administrative positions, including a year as acting president. He was instrumental in establishing the center as a leader in applied social research in religion relied upon by religious institutions, foundations, and the press for fairminded studies of religious change in America. In 1992, he returned to Duke University as a member of the faculty and director of its Ormond Center.

Congregations and ministry have been dominant themes in Carroll's scholarly research and publication. His writing on congregations includes books on small churches (Small Churches Are Beautiful , Harper 1977); congregations and public life; varieties of religious presence (in a book with the same name, with William McKinney and David Roozen, Pilgrim 1985); and understanding congregational life (Handbook for Congregational Studies , with William McKinney and Carl S. Dudley, Abingdon 1986). With respect to ministry, he has published on clergy supply-and-demand issues (Too Many Pastors ? with Robert L. Wilson, Pilgrim 1980), women in ministry (Women of the Cloth , with Barbara Hargrove and Adair Lummis, Harper 1982), and clergy authority (As One with Authority , Westminster/John Knox 1991). The latter combines Carroll's interests in sociology and theology.

With Carl S. Dudley, James Hopewell, Loren B. Mead, and Barbara Wheeler, Carroll was a founder of the Project Team for Congregational Studies, an informal coalition of individuals and institutions committed to disciplined inquiry into the dynamics of congregational life.

William McKinney

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