Dear Ministry Leader,

You live and work at a sacred playground. Now, you have access to research and resources to maximize your ministry's impact.
SHOW ME HOW

Welcome to the premier source of research for Christian camp and related ministries.

How could your camp or congregation benefit from actionable research and quality training? Let’s find out.

Available now!

Sacred Playgrounds
Christian Summer Camp in Theological Perspective

Sacred Playgrounds, a brand new book about Christian summer camp, is available now and ready for your bookshelf. This uniquely data-driven perspective on the difference outdoor ministry can make for participants, their families, their churches, and their communities is rooted in the findings from the Effective Camp Research Project. In recent years, the research team at Sacred Playgrounds, directed by Dr. Jake Sorenson, collected and analyzed thousands of data points, conducted hundreds of interviews, and embarked on dozens of site visits to learn what really works in Christian camping ministry. These pages are filled with stories, findings, and the tools to apply them in your own context, whether you’re a camp leader, church leader, fellow researcher, or lifelong camper.

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Introducing the Sacred Playgrounds Podcast

Behind the mic. Behind the research. For the future of outdoor ministry.

Founder and Lead Researcher for Sacred Playgrounds, Dr. Jake Sorenson, is joined by host and camp enthusiast Jared Rendell for some intriguing conversations about camp and why it matters based on the latest research. Each episode we’ll focus on one thing that’s making a difference right now in outdoor ministry.

Listen Now

CURRENTLY RESEARCHING

The Camp and Church Leadership Project seeks to cultivate church leadership among young adults who have been engaged in camping ministries. This project has a special focus on examining the key characteristics and impacts of serving on summer camp staff. It centers on camps and congregations in the ELCA.

Since 2015, the Effective Camp Project has been gathering data on the key characteristics and impacts of the Christian summer camp experience. Through 2020, we have gathered data from more than 7,000 campers and more than 2,000 parents at dozens of camps across the USA and in Canada.

The Camp2Congregation Project, funded by the Lilly Endowment, is examining the impacts of Christian Traveling Day Camp programs on congregations, families, and young leaders in the church. The project gathered data from campers, parents, camp staff, and pastors throughout 2019.

THE LATEST articles

New Life from Death at Camp

New Life from Death at Camp

We made it up the mountain at midday. It was the day after camp ended. Most of the summer staff had already departed, and the rest were packing up. Exhaustion was in the air, almost palpably. I distinctly remember the feeling. After weeks of expending tremendous...

This organization was formed to bring current and upcoming research on what is truly effective in key ministry spaces like outdoor ministry, confirmation ministry, and more. The team is experienced in and passionate about academic and action research, training, faciliation, and adult learning. Use the link below to meet the staff and contact us.

Let's start with a conversation.

Send me an email to schedule a 30 minute introduction conversation. I’d love to hear about where your ministry could go when informed by actionable, localized research and well-designed, well-facilitated training experiences.

Sacred Playgrounds is a brand new book!

Sacred Playgrounds, a brand new book about Christian summer camp, is available now and ready for your bookshelf! These pages are filled with stories, research findings, and the tools to apply them in your own context, whether you’re a camp leader, church leader, fellow researcher, or lifelong camper. Enter your email for the latest updates and we'll also send you straight to the order page.

Happy reading!