William C. (Bill) McCready, PhD, is a Senior Fellow in Evaluation & Strategic Planning with the Ministry Leadership Center. He has been consulting with the MLC almost from the beginning to develop measurement and analysis tools and as a Senior Fellow he will devote full-time to developing and implementing data-driven evaluation and planning procedures.
Bill has worked in the survey research field for more than 47 years. He was the first Program Director at NORC at the University of Chicago and directed the Public Opinion Lab at Northern Illinois University from 1988 until 1999. From 1999 until 2011 he was a Vice President with Knowledge Networks, a premier research company with the only probability-based online panel in the nation. He directed the CDC-funded Illinois BRFSS as well as projects for the Ford Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, NIAAA, NIH, NSF and McDonald's Corporation and is a past member the National Academy of Science's Committee for a National Urban Policy.
His research activities have covered diverse areas including sociology of the family; sociology of education; urban ethnicity; and the assessment of health risk behaviors, but he has always maintained an active research interest in the role of religion in society. He is the author or co-author of numerous books and dozens of articles including The Ultimate Values of the American Population, Catholic Schools in a Declining Church, Young Catholics in the United States and Canada, and Parish, Priest and People: New Leadership for the Local Church.
He has written about the social effects and contexts for religion in numerous chapters and articles including: "Some Notes on the Sociological Study of Mysticism," in On the Margin of the Visible, ed. by Edward A. Tiryakian; "A Survey of Mystical Experiences," in Heterodoxy, ed. by Richard Woods; "Religion and the Life-Cycle," in Toward Vatican III: The Work that Needs to be Done, ed. by David Tracy; "Organized Religion and Nonprofit Activities Among Hispanic People in the United States" in Hispanics and the Nonprofit Sector ed. by Gallegos and O'Neill; "Current Research on Religious Experiences" presented at the annual meetings of the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers; and "A Researcher's View" in Toward More Effective Research in the Church published by FADICA.