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Catholic Advanced Analytics Center

Catholic Advanced Analytics Center

The Catholic Advanced Analytics Center (CAAC) aims to improve decision-making in the Catholic Church through data analytics and to facilitate spiritual growth for Catholics using new technology. It focuses on both global data collection (managing it as an asset) and the use of advanced data science techniques to extract insights that improve the faith experience. The CAAC identifies pressing issues that could be addressed using analytics and develops compelling use cases, including proof of concept, pilot, and roll-out. Another key goal is to build capabilities by providing training in analytics to church officials and theologians.

Research Projects

Current research projects include:

Synodal consultations (for the synod of bishops at the Vatican)

  • Listening to the concerns and experiences of Catholics across the globe.
  • Collecting a variety of data: (open-ended) survey data, focus group reports, and online social media data (multimodal: text, image, video).
  • Using Natural Language Processing and computer vision models to analyze collected data.

Designing a Catholic chatbot for the young generation

  • Construction of dedicated (Q&A) datasets to train a chatbot.
  • Using prompting, RAG, and fine-tuning to build a chatbot that has access to private documents.
  • Experimenting with different underlying base LLMs to assess accuracy and validity.

High school students: their struggles, attitudes towards faith/religion, and their continuation in higher education

  • Asking high school students questions about things they struggle with in their personal lives and how they deal with these problems.
  • Development of personalized, AI-powered messages to stimulate personal growth.
  • Repeated interactions and monitoring over time to study the effects of such interventions to stimulate growth

Prof. Dr. Martijn de Jong

Professor of Marketing Research at ESE & ECDA Expert Practice Director of Catholic Advanced Analytics


Prof. dr. Martijn G. de Jong (professor of Marketing Research, Erasmus School of Economics)

Prof. dr. Paul van Geest (professor of Theology and Economic Thought, Erasmus School of Philosophy)

Dr. Cees van Halem (director, Erasmus Economics & Theology Institute)

Dr. Bill Banning (lecturer in theology and worldview, d’Outremont College)

Rev. Dr. Michel Remery MSc (director of DeoQuest, priest of the diocese of Rotterdam)