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Association of Nazarene Sociologists and Researchers (ANSR)


ANSR is an organization of sociologists, researchers, educators, pastors, lay-ministers, and other professionals interested in understanding the structure, function, and processes of the church, as well as its role in society. We are a close-knit group that values fellowship, mutual encouragement, and prayer support. Participation in ANSR is open to anyone interested in furthering informed ministry, through sociology and research (contact us). The goal of the association is to generate sociological research that will assist the Nazarene denomination in its God-ordained mission.


More than three decades ago, church leaders asked sociologists to form an organization that would use their professional knowledge and research skills in the service of the church. ANSR was formed and sustained under the leadership of Jon Johnston, chairman, and Bill M. Sullivan, who until his retirement was director of the Church Growth Division. The organization has conducted and disseminated research, created the ANSR Poll as a mechanism for listening to the grass roots of the church, and focused attention and provided resources on social/cultural issues.


ANSR holds an annual conference, which often features a prominent speaker, such as Christian Smith, Martin Marty, Robert Bellah, Michael Emerson and Nancy Ammerman. Annual meetings typically have representation from Nazarene colleges and universities, leaders from the Global Ministry Center, and pastors and lay members. In addition to academic papers and keynote addresses, meetings feature rich, inspirational times of devotion. Meetings are held near the denomination’s Global Ministry Center in Lenexa, Kansas.


ANSR is sponsored by Research Services, Church of the Nazarene Global Ministry Center: Dr. Rich Houseal, Director (email Rich)

ANSR Founder: Dr. Bill M. Sullivan
Chair Emeritus: Dr. Jon Johnston

Executive Board: Dr. Ron Benefiel, Professor Bo Cassell, Dr. Kenneth Crow, Dr. Jamie Gates, Dr. Rich Houseal, Dr. Dale Jones, Deb Sullivan King, Dr. Adrianne Showalter Matlock, and Dr. Joel Thiessen