Space-Sharing Principles for Religious Organizations and Groups

“… host/guest agreements, co-proprietorship of a facility, negotiating space usage for congregational subgroups, and sharing a third-party venue. ”

Team Members/Contributors

Paul D. Numrich Theological Consortium of Greater Columbus Contact Me

About this project grant for researchers

This project is part of a larger one on space-sharing arrangements by religious organizations and groups of many kinds, including multicultural temples and mosques and dual Ashkenazi-Sephardic synagogues. This specific project will focus on space-sharing arrangements involving Christian churches and groups. The research question is whether there is a set of principles conducive to relatively conflict-free space-sharing arrangements. The basic assumption is that such principles would serve the practical needs of many local churches and advance the mission of the larger church.

Space-sharing arrangements—including host/guest agreements, co-proprietorship of a facility, negotiating space usage for congregational subgroups, and sharing a third-party venue—have become common in the US in recent decades, though they have met with mixed success. For this project, I will conduct bibliographic research, solicit advice from a sociologist colleague, and do field work in several locations across the country.

I have at least four audiences for this project: Scholars, the media, interested observers, and religious leaders who have a stake in space-sharing arrangements. During the research period, I intend to publish at least one summary or extract of my findings, preferably in a publication or Internet site focusing on congregational issues. I will also work with the staffs at my seminaries on dissemination of my findings. The most immediate benefits of this project will be to my seminaries and the leaders they are training. To that end, I will propose a new course in the area of practical theology. Beyond the research period, I intend to make myself available to local, denominational, and other groups for public talks or consultations. Also, Lexington Books has expressed interest in publishing a book out of the larger project’s findings.

Image Title Year Type Contributor(s) Other Info
Space Sharing in Congregations 2017 Website Paul D. Numrich
  Three Things You Should Know About Congregations 2018 Magazine Article Paul D. Numrich
Autumn/Winter 2018-19, Pages 8-9
  “How Important Is Religion in Interreligious Relationships? Interreligious Space-Sharing as a Case Study” Journal of Interreligious Studies 26 (March 2019): 42-57, available at 2019 Journal Article Paul D. Numrich
26 (March 2019): 42-57
  When Congregations Share Their Properties–5 Principles for Good Decisions 2019 Website Article Paul D. Numrich
April 25, 2018
  When a Shared Parking Lot Isn’t Just about Parking 2017 Website Article Paul D. Numrich
October 10, 2017