Jump to Navigation

Best Resources

Best Resources for Congregational Research

Congregational Research and What it Means to Your Parish

Faith Communities Today (FACT) disseminates the results of research generated by representatives of more than 25 faith groups who conduct biannual surveys of their respective communities. Results of these surveys are available as free downloads, and hard copies may be purchased inexpensively in booklet form. The research is also analyzed and discussed through the organization's “Newsletters,” “Publications” and “News.”

The Hartford Institute for Religion Research gathers information about current American religious life as well as contemporary judicatory structure, changing internal dynamics and evolving relationships to local congregations. If you want to conduct a survey of your own congregation, see the section on “Congregational Studies” and the page that introduces tools for the study of congregations, or participate in the Hartford Institute’s ongoing Congregational Assessment program to develop a profile of your faith community, take an in-depth look at your congregational dynamics, and identify the attributes your congregation needs in its next pastor.

The National Congregations Study is a survey of a wide range of characteristics and activities of American churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship through interviews with ministers, priests, rabbis and other leaders. The website allows you to work directly with the survey responses to discover basic facts about congregational social composition, structures, activities and programming, or to create customized tables of cross-tabulated responses. 

The U.S. Congregational Life Survey is the largest and most representative profile of worshippers and their congregations ever conducted in the United States. Church leaders may also sign up to conduct the survey in your local congregation. USCLS will interpret your returned surveys and provide a customized report of your community’s strengths, along with suggested resources for building on those and addressing any weaknesses. 

The National Study of Youth and Religion offers in-depth information on the shape of religion and spirituality practiced by American youth, explores how religious beliefs influence contemporary youth and identifies the practices that effectively transmit religious, moral and social values to youth in lasting, formative ways. The site archives news releases and links to reports, articles and books based on the research.

Archives, Church Research and Data About American Congregations

The Association of Religion Data Archives is an archive site of selected research data sets from more than 500 sources. You can skim the basics through the QuickStats and QuickLists tabs, or dig progressively more deeply into the wide range of historic and contemporary data by reading archived reports and articles based on the site’s data sets, or by learning to manipulate the data for yourself.

Pulpit & Pew is a completed interdenominational research project that assessed the state of the pastorate in the U.S. Conducted between 2001 and 2004, the project resulted in groundbreaking books, reports, essays and articles on the life of American clergy at the beginning of the 21st century.

News

News

A Piano for Christmas

It’s never too early for a great Christmas ad. This is from the folks at John Lewis in Great Britain, who every year...

Can Religion Unite America?

    Calling out racism in American churches, David Gushee, the outgoing president of the American Academy of...

Are American's Religious Communities Unique?

Two-thirds of U.S. Christians pray daily, compared with a median of just 18 percent of Christians across 15 countries...

Calendar

Sun, Dec 2, 2018 - 09:00 am
Sun, Dec 22, 2019 - 09:00 am

Popular Tools

Duke Divinity Leadership Education

 

Questions We Answer

We know that you grapple with many difficult questions as a Christian leader. We want to help. Complex concerns about ministry can’t be fully addressed here, of course, but we provide a starting point for engaging the deep issues. If you don’t find what you are looking for, please see if our partners can help or contact us.

Have more questions?

Search