U.S. Congregational Life Survey, Wave 2, 2011, Fast Growing Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Congregational Profile Survey

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > Religious Groups > Members or Leaders > Presbyterian > Summary


More than 500,000 worshipers in more than 5,000 congregations across America participated in the U.S. Congregational Life Survey (Wave 1 and Wave 2)—making it the largest survey of worshipers in America ever conducted. Three types of surveys were completed in each participating congregation: (a) an attender survey completed by all worshipers age 15 and older who attended worship services during the weekend the survey was given; (b) a congregational profile describing the congregation’s facilities, staff, programs, and worship services completed by one person in the congregation; and (c) a leader survey completed by the pastor, priest, minister, rabbi, or other principal leader. Together the information collected provides a unique three-dimensional look at religious life in America. (From Appendix 1, U.S. Congregational Life Survey Methodology, A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations, Second Edition.)

This data file contains data for the sample of Fast Growing Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations that completed the Congregational Profile Survey form. (U.S. Congregational Life Survey Wave 2 Fast Growing PC(USA) Attender data and Leader data will be provided in separate data files.)

Data File
Cases: 114
Variables: 275
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: Fall 2011
Original Survey (Instrument)
USCLS Congregational Profile Survey
Funded By
The Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Louisville Institute
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Collection Procedures
Self-administered surveys
Sampling Procedures
In Wave 1 and Wave 2, other denominations were also invited and encouraged to draw a random sample of their congregations. Denominational samples were large enough so that the results are representative of worshipers and congregations in each denomination. This allows denominations to compare their “typical” congregation and worshiper to congregations and worshipers in other denominations. Along with the PC(USA), denominations participating in this oversampling procedure in Wave 1 and Wave 2 were Church of the Nazarene, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Seventh-day Adventist Church, United Methodist Church (UMC), and United Church of Christ (UCC). In Wave 2, the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) also participated by surveying a national random sample of their denomination’s congregations. (From Appendix 1, U.S. Congregational Life Survey Methodology, A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations, Second Edition.)

Researchers in the PC(USA) invited the 345 fastest-growing congregations within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to take part in the US CLS. Fast-growing churches were identified after examining the percentage change in average worship attendance in all PC(USA) congregations over a five-year period (2004-2009). Congregations with missing or inaccurate attendance data were excluded. Of those invited to participate, 128 agreed to do so, and 117 returned completed worshiper survey forms. Of those 117 churches, 114 churches also returned a Profile survey completed by a key informant.

A few questions were changed from the Profile Survey used in the 2008 U.S. Congregational Life Survey (Wave 2):
• Q12: Different years (updated for 2011)
• Q13_16 (new question about social media as outreach tool)
• Q26: Slightly different wording (doesn’t change analysis)
• Q28a (new question about use of social media to communicate with attendees)
The Fast Growing Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Congregational Profile data can be linked to the Fast Growing PC(USA) Attender and Leader data by the CONGREGA variable.

Q45A1, Q45B1, Q45C1, Q45D1, Q45E1 represent times in 4 digits, on a 24-hour clock. So morning services stay as they are and 12 is added to evening services to make them on the 24-hour clock. Examples: 8am would be 800, 8:30am would stay as 830, 7pm would be 1900, and noon would be 1200.
Principal Investigators
Cynthia Woolever, Research Services, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), co-principal investigator

Deborah Bruce, Associate Research Manager, Research Services, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), co-principal investigator

Joelle Kopacz, Research Assistant, Research Services, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Ida Smith-Williams, Associate for Information, Research Services, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Related Publications
A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations: Who’s Going Where and Why. Second Edition. 2010. Cynthia Woolever and Deborah Bruce, Westminster John Knox Press.

A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations: Who’s Going Where and Why. 2002. Cynthia Woolever and Deborah Bruce, Westminster John Knox Press.

Beyond the Ordinary: 10 Strengths of U.S. Congregations. 2004. Cynthia Woolever and Deborah Bruce, Westminster John Knox Press.

Places of Promise: Finding Strength in Your Congregation’s Location. 2008. Cynthia Woolever and Deborah Bruce, Westminster John Knox Press.

Leadership That Fits Your Church: What Kind of Pastor for What Kind of Congregation. 2012. Cynthia Woolever and Deborah Bruce, Westminster John Knox Press.

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