BABLab Receives Grant Funding to Investigate Virtual Worship & Flourishing!

Congratulations to Dr. Van Cappellen for being awarded with grant funding from the Templeton World Charity! Dr. Van Cappellen serves as Principal Investigator on this grant ($499,489) titled “Worship 2.0: Testing the benefits and challenges of virtual
worship participation for flourishing”, a three-year project beginning in September 2024 to August 2027.

This project seeks to examine the flourishing-related benefits and challenges of worship modes in evangelical Protestant Christians and Black Protestant Christians churches, for whom virtual worship is practiced more frequently. Flourishing will be assessed at both the personal and spiritual levels: through psychological well-being and subjective happiness, and felt presence of God and spiritual well-being.

Through qualitative, quantitative, and experimental data, we address three research questions:

  1. Does virtual worship participation bring the same benefits for flourishing as in-person worship?
  2. Are the mechanisms through which worship is thought to affect flourishing still activated by virtual worship?
  3. What factors optimize the experience of virtual worship?

This project will address existing gaps in the research regarding the causal effect of virtual worship on flourishing, the factors that influence these effects, and how the social and emotional experience of worship potentially explain them. By actively partnering and collaborating with practitioners, we hope to ground the research in real-world experience in order to yield and disseminate findings that are both scientifically robust and practically relevant.


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