Job Details

Santa Clara University
  • Position Number: 5260831
  • Location: Santa Clara, CA
  • Position Type: Multicultural Affairs and Affirmative Action

Research Associate 1- Thriving Congregations Initiative

Position Title:
Research Associate 1- Thriving Congregations Initiative

Position Type:
Fixed Term (Fixed Term)

Hiring Range:

$33.46 -39.35 per hour, commensurate with experience. Benefits provided.

Pay Frequency:
Research Associate (3-year, fixed term) | Thriving Congregations Initiative

Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries | Santa Clara University

The Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries (GPPM) at Santa Clara University seeks a skilled, dedicated, independent researcher to lead a 3-year fixed-term grant initiative focused on the flourishing of Roman Catholic parishes. Funded by a $1.25M Thriving Congregations grant from the Lilly Foundation, the researcher will study two Catholic parishes in California and create a toolkit for building flourishing Catholic communities in the face of complex institutional transitions and increasing cultural diversity. The researcher will conduct extensive background research and focus groups in parishes, analyze data, and complete other tasks on the way to establishing an Institute for Parish Renewal in the GPPM and creating a resource toolkit for use in Catholic communities in and beyond California.

Working with the Executive Director of the GPPM, the researcher will recruit, train, and manage a team of interns and student workers, who will support the research initiative. The researcher will manage the grant budget and prepare all required progress reports, including the final report to the Lilly Foundation.

The position will begin as a three-year full-time position with the option for two more years of part-time work, if required, and if funding is available.

Project Timeline
  • Parish Selection and Progress Benchmarking (3-4 months)
  • Congregational Study (3-5 months)
  • Capacity Development (2-3 months)
  • Create Mission Action Plan (1-3 months)
  • Pilot Ministry Implementation (6-12 months)
  • Parish Rollout, Validation, Analysis, and Formation Delivery (Year 3 and beyond)

  • Appropriate terminal degree in theology or ministry (D.Min., Ph.D., M.Div.).
  • Minimum five years of research experience, including courses in the relevant discipline.
  • Demonstrated skill with applied research methods in ministry settings.
  • Ability to pass background checks and complete training workshops as required by SCU and dioceses that have requirements for the safety of those engaged in pastoral leadership work.

Key Duties

1. Collaborate with the Executive Director and faculty of the GPPM, as well as other professionals and ecclesial leaders, to develop and carry out an in-depth study of parish life in two California dioceses. The researcher will:
  • Develop, pilot, and implement a two-year parish renewal learning community that supports and guides cohorts of parish pastoral teams and key volunteers through a holistic ministry renewal process (assessment, congregational engagement and preparation, mission and vision, and program development/pilots); this work will focus specifically on parishes with growing intercultural communities, differentiating our approach for rural and urban contexts;
  • Design and produce a practical and dynamic parish renewal virtual toolkit with introductions to congregational discernment, in-depth parish renewal case studies, practitioner planning guides and videos, expert talks, parish spotlights, and other resources to be translated in multiple languages; the toolkit will be designed for deployment by parishes in multiple facilitated and unfacilitated formats and use by theology and ministry training practicums;
  • Integrate curricula, resources, and expertise into the GPPM's unit-bearing degree programs and Markey Center's non-unit-bearing pastoral ministry training programs; depending on demand, this may yield a regular workshop series, a certificate or emphasis, and/or a theme within the GPPM capstone and ministry internship program.

Essential Knowledge
  • Understanding of contemporary Roman Catholic theology and its relationship to ministry.
  • Understanding of parish and community needs and the needs of ministers on the ground.
  • Understanding of the relationship between education and spiritual formation.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of the Jesuit educational and spiritual tradition.

Essential Skills and Characteristics
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills; ability to collaborate with the Executive Director and staff of the GPPM.
  • Ability to build productive relationships with organizational and diocesan partners.
  • Flexible, with strong creative problem-solving skills.
  • Outstanding program management skills; proven record of creating in-person and online programs for parishes and other ecclesial communities.
  • A lived commitment to transformative servant leadership.
  • Strong work ethic; ability to work independently and collaboratively.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
  • Travel is required throughout California.

Provides Work Direction
  • To undergraduate and graduate interns and fellows.


The physical demands described below are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, the California Fair Employment & Housing Act, and all other applicable laws, SCU provides reasonable accommodations for qualified persons with disabilities. A qualified individual is a person who meets skill, experience, education, or other requirements of the position, and who can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Considerable time is spent at a desk using a computer terminal.
  • May be required to travel to other buildings on the campus.
  • May be required to attend conferences and training sessions within the Bay Area or in- or out-of-state locations.
  • Will be required to occasionally travel to outside customers, vendors, or suppliers.
  • Will travel to perform on-site research in dioceses and parishes through California.


The work environment characteristics described below are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.
  • The GPPM operates in a typical office environment, with a common space for meetings and individual offices for team members. The environment is generally free from interruptions.
  • The GPPM operates in an indoor environment with windows in most, but not all, offices.
  • Offices may have low-level noise from computers but are generally quiet.
EEO Statement

Equal Opportunity/Notice of Nondiscrimination

Santa Clara University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and California State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. Applications from members of historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged. For a complete copy of Santa Clara University's equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policies, see

COVID-19 Statement

The health and safety of the University community is a top priority. The University strongly recommends that all employees are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as the vaccination and boosters are safe, effective tools that significantly minimize the chances of serious illness and hospitalization. Please contact Human Resources if you have any questions.


Santa Clara University is registered to do business in the following states: California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Illinois. Employees approved to telecommute are required to perform their work within one of these states.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

Santa Clara University does not discriminate in its employment practices or in its educational programs or activities on the basis of sex/gender, and prohibits retaliation against any person opposing discrimination or participating in any discrimination investigation or complaint process internally or externally. Information about Title IX can be found at Information about Section 504 and the ADA Coordinator can be found at, (408) 554-4109, Inquiries can also be made to the Assistant Secretary of Education within the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Clery Notice of Availability

Santa Clara University annually collects information about campus crimes and other reportable incidents in accordance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. To view the Santa Clara University report, please go to the Campus Safety Services website . To request a paper copy please call Campus Safety at (408) 554-4441. The report includes the type of crime, venue, and number of occurrences.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Santa Clara University affirms its commitment to employ qualified individuals with disabilities within the workplace and to comply with the Americans with Disability Act. All applicants desiring an accommodation should contact the Department of Human Resources, and 408-554-5750 and request to speak to Indu Ahluwalia by phone at 408-554-5750 or by email at

To view the full job posting and apply for this position, go to

Copyright 2024 Inc. All rights reserved.

Posted by the FREE value-added recruitment advertising agency