Reach Hurting Kids Institute is built on nearly ten years of scientific research by our dedicated collaborators. Our research has focused on the church as a context for child development, with an emphasis on the ways churches can foster resiliency in children and promote healthy spiritual, emotional, and social development. Our team’s research has been published in a variety of high-quality, peer-reviewed academic journals and has been cited repeatedly in dissertations, textbooks, and other research in the field of psychology of religion. The following publications may be of interest to scholars and researchers who are exploring the scientific study of children’s ministry:

Crosby, R. G., Smith, E. I., Gage, J. & Blanchette, L. (2021). Trauma-informed children’s ministry: A qualitative descriptive study. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma, 14, 493-505.

Crosby, R. G., Smith, E. I., LaChausse, R. G., Blanchette, L., & Palardy, G. J. (2021). Practices of supportive church children’s ministries: An exploratory multilevel investigation of Church of the Nazarene congregations in the United States. Review of Religious Research, 63, 381-409.

Smith, E. I. & Crosby, R. G. (2021). The effect of socially supportive church ministry on children’s prosocial behaviour: An experimental study of Latin American Protestant Congregations[Special issue]. Journal for Prevention and Intervention in the Community. Advance online publication.

Crosby, R. G., & Smith, E. I. (2018). Creating a new survey for a specific population: The Kids’ Church Survey. SAGE Research Methods Cases. doi:10.4135/9781526447333

Crosby, R. G., *Ritt, B., & Slunaker, J. (2018). Motivation for religious sacrifice: Classification, measurement, and longitudinal association with psycho-spiritual well-being. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. Advance online publication.

Crosby, R. G., & Smith, E. I. (2017). Measuring children’s church-based social support: Development and initial validation of the Kids’ Church Survey. Social Development. Social Development, 2, 423-442. doi:10.1111/sode.12198

Smith, E. I., & Crosby, R. G. (2016). Unpacking religious affiliation: Exploring associations between Christian children’s religious cultural context, God image, and self-esteem across development. British Journal of Developmental Psychology. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 35, 76-90. doi:10.1111/bjdp.12156

Blanchette, L., & Crosby, R. G. (2016). The measurement and evaluation of children’s ministry praxis. Christian Education Journal, 13, 247-265.

Crosby, R. G. (2015). Examining the formal education of children’s ministers in the United States: Suggestions for professional development, Christian education, and emerging research. Christian Education Journal, 12, 26-44.

Crosby, R. G., & Smith, E. I. (2015). Church support as a predictor of children’s spirituality and prosocial behavior. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 43, 243-254.

Crosby, R. G., Smith, E. I., & Frederick, T. (2015). The kid-friendly church: What makes children feel loved, valued, and part of a supportive community? Journal of Family and Community Ministries, 28, 87-109.