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Dr. Erin Raffety smiles into the camera. A woman with shoulder-length straight brown hair, wearing a patterned scarf.

Rev. Dr. Erin Raffety is a Practical Theologian who uses ethnographic methods to study Christian congregations and communities. Raffety is currently a Lecturer in the Princeton Writing Program where she teaches on disability justice.


At Princeton Theological Seminary, Raffety serves as the Senior Researcher on the Isaiah Partnership (a study of pastors leading innovation for theological education), the Empirical Research Consultant on the Imagining Church Project (a nationwide study of thriving congregations) and the Associate Research Scholar for the Institute for Youth Ministry. From 2020-2023, she served as a Research Fellow at the Center of Theological Inquiry, where she built and studied a Minecraft video game for disabled Christians and their congregations, and conducted a study on worship access for Christians living with Long COVID and chronic illness. She is the recipient of numerous grants from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship, the Lilly Endowment, Inc., the Louisville Institute, and the Templeton World Charity Foundation.


She is also the author of two books, one on disability ministry in the United States, From Inclusion to Justice (Baylor, Sept 1, 2022), and the other on foster care in China, Families We Need (Rutgers, Nov 11, 2022). She is ordained as a Teaching Elder in the PC(USA), holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Princeton University, and is a proud parent of a daughter with multiple disabilities.

Select CV

Princeton University


Center of Theological Inquiry


Princeton Theological Seminary




Imagining Church Project

Princeton Seminary


Youth, Church, & Culture

Princeton Seminary


Supervised and conducted research with Christians living with long COVID and chronic illness through a Calvin Institute of Christian Worship grant.

Click here to read more about this research.

Supervised and conducted research for "The Spiritual Loop Project," a Templeton World Charity Diverse Intelligences grant that created a video game prototype for disabled Christians and their congregations to foster spiritual growth and connection.


Click here to read more about our video game prototype on the "Research" page of this site.

Oversaw research on the "Log College Project," a Lilly Endowment Inc. grant to foster innovation in youth ministry. 


Served as the Co-Leader for "Cultivating God's Brainforest," a Fuller Youth Institute grant for supporting youth workers in ministry with neurodivergent youth.


Supervises research for the "Isaiah Partnership," a Lilly Endowment Inc. grant to foster innovative pedagogy and practice in congregational ministry and theological education.

Oversees "The Imagining Church Project" digital ethnography with 23 diverse, thriving congregations across the United States funded through Lilly Endowment Inc.


Offered courses on older adult, youth, and children's ministry, research methods in practical theology, disability, and transitional ministry.


Advised masters and Ph.D. students in empirical research methods for practical theology.

Institute for Youth Ministry

Continuing Education

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