Greetings Alberta Northwest Conference!

Grad student seeks research participantsMy name is Kim Curlett. I am a final year student in the Masters of Divinity degree program at Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I am also a candidate for ordination in the United Church of Canada. I am conducting a qualitative research project as part of my final year and I need your help.

 My project will look to form a theory around this question: “Why do some people who self-identify as spiritual-but-not-religious attend worship in a United Church of Canada congregation?” I am really curious about people who identify as spiritual-but-not-religious (SBNR) because I used to be one of them. I know they are in congregations and I want to know why they are there. My thought is that if we had a theory about why they are there then we may be able to make our congregations more intentionally and radically welcoming to people who self-identify in this way. The only prerequisites to be considered eligible of this study is that people:

  1. Self-identify as SBNR;
  2. Attend worship in a United Church of Canada congregation (it doesn’t matter how often or if you are a member); and,
  3. Are an adult (19+).

If they contact me and choose to accept this invitation to participate then they can expect that we will have one (1) hour long interview either in person or by video chat. Where and when will be determined based on convenience. All interviews will take place in November or December 2017. The interview audio will be recorded and I will take field-notes at that time. Participation is completely voluntary and a signed informed consent will be required before the interview. Participants can end their involvement at any point, in which case the interview recording will be destroyed and the data not used in the final analysis of data.

The results of this study will be presented publicly at Atlantic School of Theology (AST) on March 7, 2018 and a written report will be available at the AST library.

I have attached a Poster (in PDF and JPEG format) for print, email and/or social media distribution that I would kindly ask that you share with the pastoral charges in your conference with the request that they share as they see appropriate with those attending worship. Your help with distributing my invitation is key to a successful project and I thank you in advance for your assistance in distributing this invitation. Please let me know if this is received and how you may be able to help me.

In the Peace and Love of Jesus Christ,


Do you attend worship services in the United Church of Canada, but wouldn’t really call yourself religious? Would you instead self-identify as Spiritual-but-not-Religious?

Then I want to talk to you! My name is Kim Curlett. I am a final year Masters of Divinity student at the Atlantic School of Theology and I am interested to know why people like you might attend church services when you don’t consider yourself religious. I wonder this because I also identified as spiritual-but-not-religious at one time. I am interested about what it is about the United Church of Canada that attracts people like us to attend worship in a congregation.

This anonymous research study will require approximately one hour of your time. If you are interested in possibly participating and would like more information, please contact me at View Email.

PDF Copy of Poster Available Here  SBNRProjectPoster