Orthodox Christian Fellowship in the United States: The Study of Orthodox Christian Clergy Serving as Chaplains in U.S. Colleges and Universities

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This survey and study was designed in order to assess the present state of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship on the campuses of U.S. colleges and universities. Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is a U.S. national pan-Orthodox agency responsible for the Orthodox collegiate campus ministry. The study had three major goals:

The first goal was to conduct a comprehensive "inventory" of the local OCF chapters that are currently present on the campuses of American colleges and universities, to analyze their geography and membership, and to examine their programs and activities, their strengths and weaknesses.

The second goal was to investigate the question of what type of challenges local OCF chapters face and what their major needs are so that these challenges and needs could be properly addressed by the national Orthodox Church leadership and by the national OCF organization.

The third goal was to take a close look at the group of Orthodox clergy who serve as spiritual advisors (chaplains) for the local OCF chapters: to examine their "demography," professional training, forms and degree of involvement with various OCF activities and -- most importantly -- to better understand their major problems and concerns.

Data File
Cases: 143
Variables: 58
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: Fall 2013
Original Survey (Instrument)
Full Questionnaire
Funded By
This study was conducted under auspices of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States--a religious organization that unites the bishops representing the following Orthodox Church jurisdictions (denominations): Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America; American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese; Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America; Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA and Canada; Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; Orthodox Church in America; Parishes of the Georgian Orthodox Church; Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas; Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia; Russian Orthodox Church in the USA; Serbian Orthodox Church in North America; Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.
Collection Procedures
To assure highest possible response rate the following four-step data collection process was used:
1. The questionnaire was posted online using survey-monkey software. The collective invitation to complete the survey was repeatedly emailed to all OCF spiritual advisors (chaplains).
2. Personal emails with request to participate in the survey were sent to the clergy who ignored the collective invitation.
3. Phone calls were made to the clergy who did not participate in the survey after steps #1 and #2 described above.
4. Hard copy questionnaires with prepaid return envelopes were mailed to several clergy who preferred completing the questionnaire "by hand."
Sampling Procedures
The questionnaires were completed by the OCF spiritual advisors (chaplains). OCF spiritual advisors (chaplains) are Orthodox clergy who work with the Orthodox students in the local OCF chapters on the campuses of U.S. colleges and universities. There was no "sampling" procedure because the goal was to survey all U.S. Orthodox clergy serving as spiritual advisors (chaplains) for Orthodox students on campuses of U.S. colleges and universities. Out of 148 OCF chapters that were active in U.S. universities and colleges by the time of the study, 142 participated in the study and completed our questionnaires - 95% participation and response rate.
Principal Investigators
Alexei Krindatch, Research Director, Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, Berkeley, CA

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