Areas of Research

SHERM accepts manuscript submissions on a wide spectrum of topics in multiple fields of study. Each journal issue is divided into four sections: 1) Social Science Research; 2) Ministerial Research; 3) Invited Position Papers; and 4) Book Reviews.


 

Ephesus

Ministerial Research:

For the ministerial part of the journal, researchers can utilize social-scientific research (demographic trends, issues in psychology or sociology, etc.) or studies in the evolution of religious belief systems (e.g. the impact of deconstructionism on the phenomenological philosophy of religion) and apply those insights to a vocational setting as it relates to congregational life and ministry programs. As an example, researchers might implement an experimental study with a particular church or synagogue involving a new way to deal with racial inequality or sexual abuse issues in society as it pertains to religious practices. The researchers could then report their findings in our ministry section of the journal. Or researchers might present different ways to accommodate societal changes in philosophies, belief systems, or approaches to religiosity and how those changes are likely to influence future congregational characteristics. The following are potential areas of study:

  • Ancient, Medieval, and Contemporary Ministry Practices
  • Experimental Faith Communities
  • Ecclesiastical Trends and Issues
  • Economic, Political, Social, and Ecological Issues in Ministry
  • Ethical, Racial, Sexual, and Gender Issues in Ministry

Social Science Research:

  • Religious History
  • Historical Theology
  • Historical Jesus
  • Psychology of Religion
  • Sociology of Religion
  • Anthropology of Religion
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Religious Trends and Demographics
  • Issues in Contemporary Theology
  • Ancient, Medieval, and Contemporary Christian Literature
  • Patristic, Medieval, and Contemporary Exegesis
  • Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Writings
  • Ancient Israelite Religion and Second Temple Judaism
  • History and Literature of Contemporary Judaism
  • Hebrew Bible
  • New Testament
  • Textual Criticism
  • Islamic Studies
  • Mormon Studies
  • Native American Religion
  • Hinduism, Buddhism, and Other World Religions
  • Historical and Contemporary Religious Revivals and Sects
  • New Religious Movements (Cults)
  • General Religious Studies

Because SHERM specializes in the social-scientific investigation of religion and the resultant consequences for vocational ministry, SHERM will prioritize articles that employ sociological, psychological, and historiographical methodologies in the formation of theological, philosophical, ecclesial, or missiological analyses.