Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) Teacher-Scholar Grant: Informed Consent
Researcher[s]: Dr. Kyle J. Dieleman, History Department, Trinity Christian College; Megan Blok, Research Assistant, Trinity Christian College

You are invited to participate in a research study. Participation is completely voluntary. If you agree to participate, you can always change your mind and withdraw. There are no negative consequences, whatever you decide.

What is the purpose of this study?

My project studies how worshiping communities experience public worship and Sabbath observance as means of education and identity formation in a pluralistic world in which identity, including religious identity, is often contested. In addition to the ethnographic research, my project includes historical research on how early modern Dutch Reformed churches understood and oversaw public worship services and Sabbath observance.

What will I do?

This survey will ask questions about your practices and beliefs regarding church attendance, worship experiences, Christian education, and overall Sunday observance. The survey will take about 10 minutes.

• Some questions may be personal. You can skip any questions you don’t want to answer, or stop the survey entirely.
• Online data being hacked or intercepted: This is a risk you experience any time you provide information online. We’re using a secure system to collect this data, but we can’t completely eliminate this risk.
• Breach of confidentiality: There is a chance your data could be seen by someone who shouldn’t have access to it. We’re minimizing this risk in the following ways:
o Data is anonymous.
o We’ll store all electronic data on a password-protected, encrypted computer.

Possible benefits: You may benefit from the opportunity to reflect on your practices, beliefs, and the relationships between them. Your worshiping community will benefit as church leaders will be better able to understand practices, desires, and needs of your particular worshiping community.

How long will it take? The survey will take approximately 10 minutes.

Costs: None

Compensation: None

Future research: Your data won’t be used or shared for any future research studies.

Funding source: This research is made possible through a Teacher-Scholar Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc.

Confidentiality and Data Security
We’ll collect the following identifying information for the research: church association, age, gender, race, educational level, and number of years identifying as a Christian. This information is necessary for research purposes.

Where will data be stored? Data will be stored on the researchers’ computers and on the servers for the online survey software. Your data will be deleted from all computers and servers at the conclusion of the project, in the summer of 2020.

Who can see my data?
• We (the researchers) will have access to your responses. This is so we can analyze the data and conduct the study.
• We may share our findings in publications or presentations. If we do, the results will be aggregate (grouped) data, with no individual results.
• Collective data, with no individual identifiers, will be shared with worship leaders from worshiping communities (i.e. churches) participating in the research project.
• Collective data, with no individual identifiers, may be shared with attendees at a 2020 Vital Worship Grants Event hosted by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI.

There are times when your identity wouldn’t be kept secret, even with this certificate:
• If a government agency inspects the records, or to meet FDA requirements
• If you give someone written permission to receive this information, or if you tell someone the information yourself
• If you threaten to harm yourself or others
• In cases of child abuse
• If we’re required to report cases of certain contagious diseases (such as HIV) to the state

Contact information:
For questions about the research, complaints, or problems: Contact Dr. Kyle Dieleman, 641-990-4575 &

For questions about your rights as a research participant, complaints, or problems: Contact the Trinity Christian College IRB Committee (Institutional Review Board; provides ethics oversight) at

Please print or save this screen if you want to be able to access the information later.

IRB Approval Date: 5/31/19

Agreement to Participate

If you meet the eligibility criteria below and would like to participate in this study, click the button below to begin the survey. Remember, your participation is completely voluntary, and you’re free to withdraw at any time.

I have read this consent form. *
I agree to take part in this study as a research participant. *
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