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You Are Invited to the Release of

Does the Shape of Families Shape Faith?

Challenging the Churches
to Confront the Impact of Family Change

The Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values is proud to partner with Fourth Presbyterian Church in downtown Chicago to host the release of Does the Shape of Families Shape Faith? by Elizabeth Marquardt, Amy Ziettlow, and Charles E. Stokes.

Wednesday January 16, 2013
10:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M.

At the newly opened Gratz Center
at Fourth Presbyterian Church
126 E. Chestnut St. at North Michigan Ave
Room 4G
Chicago, IL 60611
Transportation/parking info

To RSVP please email

This program is intended for pastors and lay leaders who desire a deeper understanding of the impact of divorce on the faith lives of young people and how that understanding can lead to unique expressions of support from pastors, youth ministers, and congregations as a whole.

Topics include:

  1. The New Science on How the Decline of Marriage Impacts Faith Expression
  2. The Depths of Divorce in the Inner Lives of Young People
  3. Is Divorce Nobody's Business? Why Do Churches Hesitate to Talk about Divorce?
  4. Why Teaching Congregants How to Have a Good Divorce Will Not Solve the Problem
  5. Who are the Children of Divorce in Your Congregations? Are Worship, Education Events, Youth and Fellowship Events, even Stewardship Practices Sensitive to the Children of Divorce in your Midst?

Marquardt and Ziettlow will be joined by respondent Mary Ellen Konieczny of Notre Dame University, who authored a commissioned paper for the project. Together, they will explore how divorce impacts the faith formation of children and young adults, and how congregations hold a vital role in supporting them as they make sense of their life story in the light of their faith.


Mary Ellen Konieczny is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests revolve around the broad themes of religion and family life, and religion in American democracy. She is particularly interested in exploring how culture and social processes in local contexts intersect with discourse and politics in the public sphere. Her current work includes transforming her dissertation study, an ethnography of liberal and conservative Catholic parishes, into a book tentatively entitled, The Spirit's Tether: Family, Work and Religion among American Catholics.

Elizabeth Marquardt directs the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values in New York City and is editor of She has written extensively on the inner lives of young people and was principal investigator of the Does the Shape of Families Shape Faith? project.

Amy Ziettlow is affiliate scholar at the Institute for American Values, Editor of the FamilyScholars Symposium Series , ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and a contributor to Huffington Post and The Atlantic online on faith, families, dance, and death and dying.

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