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How do Canadian congregational and denominational leaders in Catholic, mainline, and conservative Protestant settings perceive and define what constitutes a flourishing congregation? Drawing on interview and focus group data with over one hundred leaders across Canada, we bring to description the perceptions, narratives, and experiences that church and denominational leaders hold about flourishing congregations. 

Featured Article


What is a Flourishing Congregation?

Shared Stories: Promise Practices in Canadian Churches

November 26, 2018

We hosted a national gathering of nearly 160 church and denominational leaders from across theological traditions and regions in Canada. These videos capture some of the panel conversations, plenary presentations, and congregational survey data from phase two of our research.

Presentation Slides

Download survey data slides from Joel Thiessen's presentation, "A View from the Pew." 

Flourishing Congregations Institute Launch 

November 26, 2016

We formally launched the Institute with an event at Ambrose University. These videos capture presentations from phase one of our research as well as a panel conversation with Dr. Reginald Bibby and Dr. Sam Reimer, leading sociologists of religion in Canada. 

Session 1 - Setting the Stage: Religious and Cultural Landscape in Canada

Session 2 - Flourishing Congregations in Canada: Preliminary Observations

We partnered with NewScoop YYC to host a series of online discussions on various topics related to congregational life (e.g., leadership, church buildings). These videos capture those discussions.



Approximately 150 Protestant congregations in Canada have 1000+ weekly attenders. A 2015 national study uncovered some of the general demographics, staffing, programs and self-understandings of Canada’s largest churches.

Download Full Report


Protestant churches in Canada with 2000+ weekly attendance.

View List


Below is a starting list of networks in Canada devoted to church planting.


Church Planting Canada

C2C Network Canada

New Leaf Network


Know of other groups?

Tell us

Rural and Small Congregations

Below is a starting list of networks in Canada devoted to rural-based ministry.

Rural Church Pastors Network

Canadian Rural Church Network

Centre for Rural Community Leadership and Ministry

Rural Church Network

Small Church Connections


Know of other groups?

Tell us


Want to learn more about flourishing congregations, and the different methodological, theoretical, conceptual, empirical, and practical aspects to this project?


Download Reading List



Below are links to a series of congregational studies elsewhere, as well as tools and resources to help congregations who wish to flourish.

Faith Communities Today (USA)


Hartford Institute for Religion Research (USA)


National Congregations Study (USA)


Studying Congregations (USA)


Center for Congregations (USA)


U.S. Congregational Life Survey


Natural Church Development Canada


National Church Life Survey (Australia)

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