Kati Tervo-Niemelä


    Research areas

  • 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

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
Further information on the affiliationYliopistonlehtori / Senior Lecturer

Curriculum Vitae

Kati Tervo-Niemelä (former Niemelä; born 1972 in Seinäjoki) is a senior lecturer in Church and Social Studies/Practical Theology at the University of Helsinki. Formerly she has worked in a fixed term position as professor in Church and Social Studies 4/2015-3/2017. 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), four edited volumes (including Church Work and Management in Change; Rippikoulun todellisuus and Teologiksi kasvamassa), over 20 peer reviewed articles in scientific journals and over 30 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.

Latest publications

  1. Religion and the Media: Continuity, and the Mediatization

    Lundby, K., Christensen, H. R., Gresaker, A. K., Lövheim, M., Tervo-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 proceedingChapter

  2. 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 proceedingChapter

  3. 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 proceedingChapter

View all (149) »

Latest activities

  1. Praxis and Practice in Theology: Current challenges and tendencies

    Tervo-Niemelä, K. (Invited speaker)
    26 Oct 201628 Oct 2016

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

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

    Tervo-Niemelä, K. (Chair of organizing committee)
    17 Aug 201619 Aug 2016

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

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

    Tervo-Niemelä, K. (Speaker)
    17 Aug 201619 Aug 2016

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

View all (180) »

Latest projects

  1. Urban young adults in Finland

    Tervo-Niemelä, K., Tirri, K., Sorri, H., Mikkola, T., Petterson, J., Halme, L., Grönlund, H. & Gothoni, R.


    Project: Research project

  2. Religion in Finland

    Tervo-Niemelä, K., Kääriäinen, K. & Ketola, K. H.


    Project: Research project

View all (12) »


Teologian tohtori

ID: 96441