Institute for Religion, Culture and Societal Futures
Institute for religion culture and societal futures logo


The Institute for Religion, Culture and Societal Futures (IRCSF) is Canada’s hub for social scientific and empirical research related to religion, spirituality, and emerging forms of communities of belief and practice. The IRCSF is non-partisan, and brings together both resident and visiting scholars working in the fields of sociology of religion and the social scientific study of religion to support undergraduate and graduate students, community organizations, faith groups, schools, the media, and the general public in better understanding the religious landscape of Canada and connections between religion, spirituality, secularity and other aspects of public and social life. The IRCSF hosts talks and workshops, publishes reports, media releases and social media posts,
and provides consulting services.





Thematic Areas of Research
  1. Religion data trends in Canada and internationally, including on religious and non-religious diversity
  2. The new social and political boundaries of religion, spirituality and culture
  3. Religion and spirituality in schools
  4. The realities and futures of Catholic life in Canada

Graph showing the decline in the Roman Catholic Church

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Institute Leadership


Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme poses in a navy blue blouse in front of a white backdrop

Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme, Director


Professor Wilkins-Laflamme has been teaching at the University of Waterloo’s Department of Sociology and Legal Studies since 2015. She is currently an associate professor there. Her research areas are sociology of religion, quantitative methods, race, ethnicity and immigration, political sociology and social change. Her books include 1) None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the US and Canada, co-authored with Joel Thiessen and published in 2020 with New York University Press; 2) Religion at the Edge: Nature, Spirituality, and Secularity in the Pacific Northwest, co-edited with Paul Bramadat and Patricia Killen and published in 2022 with British Columbia University Press; and 3) Religion, Spirituality and Secularity among Millennials: The Generation Shaping American and Canadian Trends, published in 2022 with Routledge.  


To learn more about Professor Wilkins-Laflamme and her work.



Carol Anne MacGregor smiling in her office



Carol Ann MacGregor, Associate Director


Carol Ann MacGregor has served as Vice President Academic and Dean (VPAD) at St. Jerome's University since 2021. She is tenured faculty in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at St. Jerome's and was previously an Associate Professor of Sociology at Loyola University New Orleans. Her research on Catholic K-12 education, religious non-affiliation, and religion and civic engagement, has appeared in journals including American Catholic Studies, American Sociological Review, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Social Science Research. Her work has received Outstanding Article awards from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the American Sociological Association's Section of Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity.


To learn more about Carol Ann and her work.




Galen Watts posing in a business suit in front of a bookshelf


Galen Watts, Associate Director


Galen Watts is an Assistant Professor in the Sociology and Legal Studies department at the University of Waterloo. Between 2020-2022 he was a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow based jointly at KU Leuven and the University of Toronto. His first book, The Spiritual Turn: The Religion of the Heart and the Making of Romantic Liberal Modernity, published in 2022 with Oxford University Press, won the 2023 Society for the Study of Religion’s Distinguished Book Award. He has published articles in venues such as Journal of the American Academy of Religion, American Journal of Cultural Sociology, Civic Sociology, The Sociological Review, and European Journal of Social Theory.


To learn more about Galen and his work.