Other Congregational Surveys

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American Congregational Giving Study, Congregational Profiles, 1993

No church is entirely satisfied with the level of financial support that it receives from its members. For this reason, the Lilly Endowment commissioned a nation-wide study of giving in U.S. churches, which came to be known as the American Congregational Giving Study. One aspect was a five denomination study which included: Assemblies of God, Southern Baptist Convention, Roman Catholic Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). A total of 125 congregations from each denomination were studied. The congregations were chosen from nine sampling regions, one in each of the nine U.S. census regions. Field workers personally visited each congregation in the sample. They had two tasks. First, they assisted the pastor in the completion of a Congregational Profile, which summarized the major socioeconomic characteristics, beliefs, programs and finances of the congregation. Second, they selected a random sample of 30 congregation members. Each of these was sent a Lay Questionnaire, which asked members about their personal religious beliefs, opinions about both their congregation and denomination and their personal socioeconomic characteristics. The data were collected into two separate data files, one containing the congregational profiles (ACGSCONG) and the other containing the responses from the member questionnaires (ACGSMBRS). The data from each congregational profile and that congregation's member questionnaires are easily merged through their common congregational id (Variable name CONGID).

American Congregational Giving Study, Member Questionnaires, 1993

No church is entirely satisfied with the level of financial support that it receives from its members. For this reason, the Lilly Endowment commissioned a nation-wide study of giving in U.S. churches, which came to be known as the American Congregational Giving Study. One aspect was a five denomination study of church members which included: Assemblies of God, Southern Baptist Convention, Roman Catholic Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). A total of 30 households from each of the 125 congregations were studied.

The congregations were chosen from nine sampling regions, one in each of the nine U.S. census regions. Field workers personally visited each congregation in the sample. They had two tasks. First, they assisted the pastor in the completion of a Congregational Profile, which summarized the major socioeconomic characteristics, beliefs, programs and finances of the congregation. Second, they selected a random sample of 30 congregation members. Each of these was sent a Lay Questionnaire, which asked members about their personal religious beliefs, opinions about both their congregation and denomination and their personal socioeconomic characteristics. The data were collected into two separate data files, one containing the congregational profiles (ACGSCONG) and the other containing the responses from the member questionnaires (ACGSMBRS). The data from each congregational profile and that congregation's member questionnaires are easily merged through their common congregational id (Variable name CONGID).

Annual Church Profile For Southern Baptist Convention Churches - Sunday School, 1995

The Southern Baptist Convention Annual Church Profile (ACP) seeks to preserve Southern Baptist history while collecting data on the ministries occurring in Southern Baptist churches. Another goal of the ACP is to allow individual Southern Baptist churches to examine their own progress of ministry and growth. Church clerks for Southern Baptist churches compile information, including church membership, Sunday school, discipleship, finances, and mission data. This data file focuses on the ACP's Sunday school reports for 1995.

From Belief To Commitment: the Community Service Activities and Finances of Religious Congregations in the United States, 1992

The 1993 Edition "From Belief to Commitment" offers the following description of the project summary.

In 1992, INDEPENDENT SECTOR conducted a national survey of the activities and finances of religious congregations in order to provide information about religious organizations as part of a larger national survey of the activities and finances of private, nonprofit, charitable organizations in the United States. This survey was also designed to update a larger survey of the activities and finances of congregations conducted in 1987. The purpose of these surveys is to provide information about an important set of institutions and their impact on the quality of life in their communities and on individual giving and volunteering more generally. . . Specific objectives of the survey were to find answers to the following questions:
1. What are the size and membership composition of congregations?
2. Where are the congregations located by region of the country and by urban, suburban, or rural areas?
3. What are the congregations' programs in religion, education, health, human services, international activities, community development, civil rights, arts and culture, and the environment?
4. What are the total revenues of the congregations, and what proportions of these revenues come from individual giving or other sources of funds?
5. What are the expenditures of congregations? How much money do they spend on operations and programs, and how much do they use for other purposes?
6. How many people from the congregation volunteer to perform various activities, and how many hours per month do they volunteer?
7. How many programs, such as services to the elderly, do congregations operate directly, and how many programs do they support indirectly through contributions or through the voluntary service of members of the congregation?

With these questions we hoped to gain an initial understanding of the range of activities of congregations and their participation in the larger community. We also wanted to estimate nationally the size, scope, source and purpose of revenues and expenditures of congregations, and the ways these activities and expenditures relate to total philanthropy in the United States (p. xi-xii).

Kent County Congregations Study, 2007

Drawing on extensive prior research that explored the relationship between congregations and social welfare, the KCCS had four objectives: (1) to document the social and educational services that Kent County, Michigan congregations actually provide; (2) to collect demographic and contextual information about religious leaders, congregations, and their civic and community engagement; (3) to facilitate comparison of Kent County to the nation; and (4) to estimate the “replacement value” of the top three social or educational services provided by each congregation.

A broad group of religious leaders and academic advisors gave their input to the KCCS. Researchers from the Calvin College Center for Social Research, the Grand Valley State University Community Research Institute, and the Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation at RDV Corporation conducted the study in two phases from mid-2006 to late 2007. First, the research team undertook a comprehensive census of Kent County congregations and second they surveyed congregational leaders in face-to-face and telephone interviews.

Pulpit and Pew National Survey of Pastoral Leaders, 2001

The purpose of the Pulpit & Pew survey , undertaken for the researchers by the National Opinion Research Center, was to take stock of U.S. pastoral leadership: Who are they? What is their core work? How has it changed over time? How are they faring? The researchers were also concerned with social and cultural trends affecting pastoral leadership, and attempted to ask, normatively, what excellent pastoral leadership entails and how it can be nurtured and supported. The focus was on the universe of senior or solo pastors of congregations from all Christian denominations as well as pastors of independent churches. Non-Christian religious leaders were also sampled. The researchers did not survey associate or assistant pastors, clergy who serve in various non-congregational ministries, and retired clergy who are no longer serving congregations. The survey data were supplemented by focus group interviews in seven sites across the U.S.

Religious Human Rights NGOs

This dataset examines religious non-governmental organizations that focus on human rights. The dataset contains information about each organization's founding, organizational structure, online presence, geographical focuses, human rights emphases, religious identity, and U.N. consultative status.

Ritual Abuse Survivors in the United States, 1994

Beginning in the 1980s claims of “Satanic ritual abuse” received considerable attention in the popular media. Ritual abuse survivors claim to have been physically and sexually molested by secretive, underground groups of Satanists. Many ritual abuse survivors further claim that Satanists have the ability to erase memories of their abuse. Hence, survivors often attempt to recover “repressed” memories of ritual abuse with the help of therapists. With the spread of ritual abuse claims in the 1990s, dozens of therapists began to specialize in the subject.

In 1994 the principal investigator conducted an anonymous survey of ritual abuse survivors. In addition to questions about the survivors’ abuse history, the survey included items designed to reproduce Bennett’s Past Month Isolation Scale (PMI) and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD). A set of demographic questions asked respondents about their gender, age, occupation, income, education, race and marital status.

Ritual abuse survivors are difficult to survey. A common theme in the therapeutic literature about ritual abuse is the constant danger posed by the Satanic cults that survivors claim to have escaped. The ritual abuse literature reports that Satanists will use “triggers” to lure the survivor back into the cult, or may try to kill the survivor should his or her memories threaten the group. Thus, survivors and their therapists display considerable reticence about talking to outsiders regarding their claimed experiences. To our knowledge this release represents the first publicly available data on this controversial movement.

Survey of Congregations in Metropolitan Chicago, 1994

The Religion in Urban America Program (RUAP) conducts research in metropolitan Chicago concerning the diverse ways religious organizations of all faiths serve urban people and address urban issues. The heart of the study is an empirical examination of religious and religiously affiliated organizations in metropolitan Chicago. We have conducted case studies of some 75 congregations and numerous other organizations--denominational, ecumenical, and interfaith agencies, religiously based community organizations, and special-purpose groups. Using ethnography as the principal research method, which includes on-site observations and interviews, we attempt to understand and interpret each organization on its own terms and with attention to those features and purposes considered most important by its leaders and constituencies. The Survey of Congregations in Metropolitan Chicago was conducted for the sole purpose of providing information to assist us in selecting congregations to serve as ethnographic case studies.

Survey of Religious, Social Service and Community Organizations in Metropolitan Chicago, 1996

This survey was conducted to supplement the research on congregations being conducted by the Religion in Urban America Program. The primary concern was to learn whether and to what extent religious, social service and community organizations related to and extended the work of churches. That is, whether they bridged geographic and/or social boundaries and whether there was a difference between religious and secular organizations with respect to the bridging function.

UFO Abductees in the United States, 1990

Survey data on new religious movements (NRM) in the United States are difficult to find, particularly when the movements in question are reticent to talk with outsiders. UFO abductees are individuals who believe they have been kidnapped by extra-terrestrials. Many abductees believe that extraterrestrials have the ability to erase memories of the abduction. In the 1980s a number of support groups for abductees appeared in the United States with the expressed purpose of helping abductees to recover their memories of alien abductions. The principal investigator was able to survey the membership of one such group, the UFO Contact Center International (now defunct) in 1990.

The survey contained a series of demographic questions, including gender, age, marital status and history, and occupation. At the group’s request, the survey also included several items regarding the abduction experience itself, such as the number of reported abductions, the abductees’ feelings about the experience, dates of abductions, and methods used to recover memories. These data provide a snapshot of the UFO abduction movement as it appeared in 1990.