The New Media Project at New York’s Union Theological Seminary has published six theological essays and four sets of recommendations about using social media in ministerial, congregational, and institutional settings.

“Together the material—located under the Findings tab on the project website —provides a one-of-a-kind resource for religious leaders seeking to interpret new media in creative and theological ways,” says the Rev. Verity Jones, project director and a minister in the Christian Church ) Disciples of Christ.

Essays by the project’s research fellows explore the following topics:

Each essay includes study questions. General questions about social media and religion provide another way to get into the essays and other material.

Recommendations from the project address areas such as:

A Frequently Asked Questions document and the six case studies conducted in 2011 for the project round out this set of materials designed to encourage theological thinking about new media today.

In the midst of the massive shifts occurring in digital communication today, the New Media Project explores how pastors and lay leaders might employ new technologies to strengthen their ministries and communities. 

“Pastors need more than the technical know-how required to build websites and use social media,” Jones says. “They also need broader, theologically grounded reflection on the lasting effect these technologies will have on the church and its global ministries.”

The New Media Project can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.