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Our primary aim in religion is to deepen and enrich the religious lives of Christians in the United States, principally by supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations. We value the broad diversity of Christian traditions and congregations today and endeavor to support them in a wide variety of contexts. We seek to ensure that all types of congregations have a steady stream of wise, faithful, diverse and well-prepared leaders. We work to strengthen theological schools as well as religious institutions and networks that nurture pastors and support the ministries of congregations. We support efforts that help Christians draw on the wisdom of their theological traditions as they strive to understand and respond to contemporary challenges and live their faith more fully.

We also work to foster public understanding about religion. While we seek to lift up the contributions that people of all religious faiths make to our greater civic well-being, we also encourage fair and accurate portrayals of both the negative and positive effects of religion on the world.

A recent national survey finds that 54 percent of congregations started new or increased current outreach ministries during the COVID-19 pandemic to help address the needs of individuals and families in their communities.
In 2021, with support from Lilly Endowment, the Hartford Institute for Religion Research launched a collaborative research project to investigate how the pandemic has affected congregational life in the United States. More than 40 research partners make this one of the most expansive efforts to document and share stories about how congregations are responding to the pandemic.
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