Carl Dudley is well known to pastors and an outstanding name among researchers of religion. He was a good friend, writing a back-cover endorsement for my 2003 book, Adventist Congregations Today. I worked closely with him on the steering committee of the interfaith Congregational Studies Partnership. He passed away on Wednesday (April 22) at age 76 from complications due to cardiac amyloidosis. I know that he is grieved in the hearts of many thousands of friends.
Carl was co-director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research and professor of church and community at Hartford Seminary from 1993 to his retirement in 2003. He continued to participate in the Congregational Studies Partnership until recently. Before he came to Hartford, he spent 20 years as director of the Center for Church and Community Ministries and professor of church and community at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He was a Presbyterian pastor, serving Berea Presbyterian Church in St. Louis for more than a decade and congregations in Albany, New York, and Selma, Alabama, prior to that.
He was the author, co-author or editor of 16 books, and pastors have found his volumes on the small church and church-based community action to be especially helpful over the years. He helped to develop the foundational literature in congregational studies and is counted among the inventors of this research discipline. He served at one time as president of the Religious Research Association (RRA) and was an active member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSA) and the Association for the Sociology of Religion (ASR), often contributing to all three journals. He was a valued friend and treasured colleague among the research community and among pastors. Carl was also loving husband, father and grandfather, regularly opening his home to friends. He is survived by Shirley and their five children and nine grandchildren. Email me if you want the contact information for the family to send your condolences.