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Josh Packard, Ph.D.

I make tools that turn research into action for faith-based organizations and leaders.


I have over 20 years of experience studying new forms of religion and how people make meaning in their lives. First as a professor of sociology where I ran The Dechurched Project, then as the founding Executive Director of Springtide Research Institute and where I helped to create the largest dataset in the country about young people and faith, and now at NCEA where I lead our applied insights division and co-founded Future of Faith, I have had the unique opportunity to see the landscape of religion and spirituality from a human and research perspective.  

I strongly believe that we have all of the pieces we need to create a vibrant and flourishing world of faith and spirituality for everyone.  I've see the data, I know the hearts of the people doing the real work.  It's my mission to make sure those two things come together

I'm an award winning speaker and trainer for religious, corporate and non-profit organizations, and I bring research based insights to practitioners in a way that is easy to understand and apply.  Researchers often end up speaking a language that only they  comprehend, but I believe that good and useful ideas should be able to be communicated simply and plainly.  



I've had the amazing opportunity to translate some of what I've learned over the years into books and other writings.  The articles are easily sourced online, and the books, with some incredibly talented co-authors, are below. 


If you have any questions about them or simply want to see more, just drop me a line.  I'm happy to share.  

 Belonging Precedes Believing

In order to create true and lasting belief and commitments among people, you need to make sure they feel like they belong first.  Unfortunately, loneliness and disconnection are at record levels. In this talk you'll learn about the importance of belonging and how we can build community in any setting.

 The Trust Revolution

The decline of institutional trust is the single biggest social trend impacting how people engage with organizations today, but most people don't understand it. Instead, we keep using high-trust tools in a low-trust world.  Learn how to align the tools of relationship to create impact that matches your intent.

Gen Z and the Future of Religion

Organized religion is at a critical moment.  The way religious leaders engage Gen Z today will determine what the future holds for institutional religion.  We know that religion and spirituality are critical for Gen Z to thrive in their physical, emotional and mental health.  Learn how the pathway to revitalizing the church in America is also the pathway to helping our youngest generation flourish.

"More than anyone else, Josh Packard uses cutting-edge data to tell the story of what is happening in the lives of students and faith communities, distilling complex phenomena into relatable and specific actions."
-Lincoln Snyder, President/CEO National Catholic Educational Association
"Josh’s research is an organizational game-changer. He identifies the forces behind the societal trend of intentional institutional disengagement. If you want to leverage this trend, instead of fall victim to it, you need to talk to him."
-Jeff Hurt, CEO Empowered Epiphanies
"Josh brought data to life that helped us really understand what to do next to engage Gen Z."
-Jeff Neel, Executive Director, Northern Colorado Youth for Christ
"Dr. Packard's presentations are consistently eloquent, inspiring, and illuminating. Moreover, his ability to present data in ways that are both accessible and actionable is remarkable."
-Rabbi Elan Babchuck, MBA, Executive Vice President, Clal and Founding Director, Glean Network
"As a sociologist, Josh is as good as they come.  He is brilliant at translating research into usable insights, as evidenced by the many who rely on his work to do theirs well.  But what sets Josh apart is his heart.  He wants to make people's lives better-and he does."
-Angie Thurston, Executive Director, Sacred Design Lab
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Future of Faith

I'm the co-founder of Future of Faith where we develop and curate resources to help connect current and future generations with their faith lives. Our tools and resources support future connections to faith life by fostering sacred listening, gathering information with wonder and curiosity, and scaling meaningful relationships. We also elevate the work of others who are listening deeply and are committed to building the pathway to the future of faith.

Josh Packard, Ph.D.

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