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Personal profile

Curriculum vitae

Kati Tervo-Niemelä (former Niemelä; born 1972 in Seinäjoki) is a professor in practical theology at the University of Eastern Finland. Her contact email is: kati.tervo-niemela@uef.fi

She has previously worked as a senior lecturer in Church and Social Studies/Practical Theology (2012-2018) and as professor in Church and Social Studies (fixed term 4/2015-3/2017 at the University of Helsinki. Tervo-Niemelä holds a title of Docent in Religious Education (2002). Her research covers many areas of practical theology, religious education and church and social studies. Tervo-Niemelä has previously worked as a Senior Researcher at Church Research Institute (2000-2012).

Her main research interests have been (1) the clergy career and ministry formation; the work orientation and well-being; (2) religion and the lifespan; (3) religious affiliation and disaffiliation, (4) the youth and religion, (5) religious rituals and (6) religion and the media. She has published actively both in international and national settings in the abovementioned areas, including seven monographs (e.g. Does Confirmation Training Really Matter?; Vieraantunut vai pettynyt? Kirkosta eroamisen syyt Suomen evankelis-luterilaisessa kirkossa; Teologiksi? and Uskonko niin kuin opetan? Seurakuntatyöntekijä uskon ja elämän ristipaineessa) and six co-authored monographs (including Questioning Mind and Religion in Finland), six edited or co-edited volumes (including Church Work and Management in Change; Rippikoulun todellisuus; Teologiksi kasvamassa; Confirmation work, Faith and Volunteerism among Protestant Youth in Europe; Youth, Religion and Confirmation Work in Europe: the 2nd international study), 25 peer reviewed articles in scientific journals and over 45 peer reviewed articles in compilation books and conference proceedings.

Tervo-Niemelä has been working in various international research projects including two international research projects on youth and confirmation work: Confirmation work in Europe, a comparative study in seven countries, (20072010) and The 2nd International Study on Youth and Confirmation Work (2012–2016), which is the largest youth study ever conducted on Protestant youth; a Nordic comparative research project: The role of religion in the public sphere in the Nordic countries (2009–2103) and a European comparative reserch project: Church and Religion in Enlarged Europe (20042008). Niemelä has also been the director of large national research projects including a project on Ministry formation and career processes among theologians and the clergy (2009–2013) and Youth, confirmation work and the future (2006-2009).

Tervo-Niemelä has been a board member in the International Society for the Sociology of Religion (2007–2015) and an active member of many other international scientific societies including Society for Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR), International Sociological Association (ISA) and Religious Research Association (RRA). Tervo-Niemelä is also a member of the University of Helsinki ethical review board in the humanities and social and behavioural sciences.

Education information

Master of Theology 1996 University of Helsinki

Education information

Master of Education 1997 University of Joensuu

Education information

Doctor of Theology 1999 University of Helsinki

External positions

Professor in Practical Theology, University of Eastern Finland

1 Mar 2028 → …

Keywords

  • 614 Theology
  • Practical Theology
  • Empirical Theology
  • Church and Social Studies
  • Religious and spiritual education
  • Generational change
  • Ministry formation
  • Confirmation work
  • Religion and the Media
  • Clergy career orientation and well-being
  • Church leadership
  • 516 Educational sciences
  • 5141 Sociology

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 1996 2018

Religion and the Media: Continuity, Complexity, and Mediatization

Lundby, K., Christensen, H. R., Gresaker, A. K., Lövheim, M., Niemelä, K., Sjö, S., Moberg, M. & Daníelsson, Á. S., 2018, Religious Complexity in Public Sphere: Comparing Nordic Countries. Furseth, I. (ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave, p. 193-249 57 p. (Palgrave Studies in Religion, Politics, and Policy).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Religion on the Political Agenda

Lövheim, M., Lindberg, J., Christensen, H. R., Niemelä, K. & Bäckström, A., 2018, Religious Complexity in the Public Sphere: Comparing Nordic Countries. Furseth, I. (ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 137-191 55 p. (Palgrave Studies in Religion, Politics, and Policy).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Believing, Belonging ang Volunteerism in Adolescence: Predictive Factors from Childhood and Confirmation Time in a Multi-Level Framework

Ilg, W., Tervo-Niemelä, K. & Maass, C. H., 2017, Confirmation, Faith, and Volunteerism: A Longitudinal Study on Protestant Adolescents in the Transition towards Adulthood European Perspectives. Schweitzer, F., Schlag, T., Simojoki, H., Tervo-Niemelä, K. & Ilg, W. (eds.). 1 ed. München: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, p. 114-127 14 p. (Konfirmandenarbeit erforschen und gestalten; vol. 10).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Changes and Trends in Church Commitment after Confirmation

Tervo-Niemelä, K., Schlag, T. & Koch, M., 2017, Confirmation, Faith, and Volunteerism: A Longitudinal Study on Protestant Adolescents in the Transition towards Adulthood European Perspectives. Schweitzer, F., Schlag, T., Simojoki, H., Tervo-Niemelä, K. & Ilg, W. (eds.). 1 ed. München: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, p. 61-76 16 p. (Konfirmandenarbeit erforschen und gestalten; vol. 10).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Conclusions

Tervo-Niemelä, K., Simojoki, H., Schlag, T., Schweitzer, F. & Ilg, W., 2017, Confirmation, Faith, and Volunteerism: A Longitudinal Study on Protestant Adolescents in the Transition towards Adulthood European Perspectives. Schweitzer, F., Schlag, T., Simojoki, H., Tervo-Niemelä, K. & Ilg, W. (eds.). 1 ed. München: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, p. 216-243 28 p. (Konfirmandenarbeit erforschen und gestalten; vol. 10).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Projects 1997 2017

The 2nd International Study on Youth and Confirmation Work

Schweitzer, F., Ilg, W., Lagger, D., Christensen, L., Harbsmeier, E., Innanen, T., Tervo-Niemelä, K., Porkka, J., Siba, B., Hoeg, I. M., Krupka, B., Byrtek, E., Pettersson, P. & Schlag, T.

01/01/201231/12/2017

Project: Research project

Growing as a Theologian

Tervo-Niemelä, K., Innanen, T., Pruuki, L., Hirsto, L., Salomaa, H., Nortomaa, A. & Buchert, M.

26/04/201031/12/2013

Project: Research project

The Role of Religion in the Public Sphere. A comparative Study of the Five Nordic countries

Tervo-Niemelä, K., Furseth, I., Pål, R., Lövheim, M., Pettersson, P., Christensen, H. R., Bäckström, A., Lundby, K., Sjö, S., Kühle, L. & Botvar, P. K.

01/01/200831/12/2014

Project: Research project

International Research on Confirmation Work

Schweitzer, F., Ilg, W., Simojoki, H., Lagger, D., Christensen, L., Innanen, T., Tervo-Niemelä, K., Porkka, J., Hoeg, I. M., Krupka, B., Pettersson, P. & Schlag, T.

15/03/200727/02/2010

Project: Research project

Activities 1998 2016

Zukunft kirchengemeinde - Congregational Studies Worldwide: Commentator in a plenary session

Kati Tervo-Niemelä (Invited speaker)
21 Mar 201623 Mar 2016

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Brücken Bauen / Building Bridges: Confirmation Work, Voluntary Work, and Youth Work - Results, Interpretations, Challeges

Kati Tervo-Niemelä (Keynote speaker)
15 Jun 201617 Jun 2016

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

The 5th Conference on Church Leadership and Organizational change : Management of Meaning in Times of Organizational Change

Kati Tervo-Niemelä (Speaker)
20 Apr 201622 Apr 2016

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Wellbeing, Leadership and the Lifespan, Nordic Conference for the Sociology of Religion (NCSR).

Kati Tervo-Niemelä (Chair of organizing committee)
17 Aug 201619 Aug 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Wellbeing, Leadership and the Lifespan, Nordic Conference for the Sociology of Religion (speaker)

Kati Tervo-Niemelä (Speaker)
17 Aug 201619 Aug 2016

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Press / Media

Interview for YLE

Kati Tervo-Niemelä

04/08/2014

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Hurmos ei kuulu rippikouluun: Interview for Helsingin Sanomat

Kati Tervo-Niemelä

02/07/2014

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Interview for MTV3 Kymmenen Uutiset on confirmation work

Kati Tervo-Niemelä

01/07/2014

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media