The Presbyterian Panel began in 1973 and is an ongoing panel study in which mailed and web-based questionnaires are used to survey representative samples of constituency groups of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). These constituency groups include members, elders, pastors serving in a congregation, and specialized clergy serving elsewhere. The 3,742 member panel consists of 1,099 members, 1,164 elders and 1,469 clergy. Panels are re-sampled every three years. The main goal of this study is to gather broad information about Presbyterians in terms of their faith (beliefs, church background, and levels of church involvement), and their social, economic, and demographic characteristics (age, sex, marital status, living arrangements, etc.). The August 2007 survey focuses on the Mission Work Plan of the General Assembly Council.
- Data File
- Cases: 350
Weight Variable: None
- Data Collection
- Date Collected: October 2005 (background questions) and August-October 2007
- Funded By
- Congregational Ministries Division, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
- Collection Procedures
- Background Data
Data were collected by self-administered mail and web-based surveys. "In the initial mailing on October 21, 2005, each sampled individual was sent a 9”x12” envelope (personally addressed) containing the following materials: a letter encouraging participation from Rick Ufford-Chase, Moderator of the 216th General Assembly, on the moderator’s letterhead with pre-printed signature in blue ink (not personally addressed); a personally-addressed cover letter, with pre-printed signature in blue ink, from John P. Marcum, Panel Administrator; a tri-fold brochure describing the Panel in a question-and-answer format; a questionnaire; and a postage-paid, business-reply envelope. (Overall design of the survey and the mailings followed the “Tailored Design Method”; see Dillman, 2000.)" (Technical Notes: Religious and Demographic Profile of Presbyterians 2005)
"All individuals who had not yet responded were mailed a reminder postcard on November 4, 2005. A second reminder, including cover letter, replacement copy of the questionnaire, Q&A brochure, and postage-paid reply envelope, was sent on November 18, 2005, to all sampled persons who had not yet responded. A third reminder, with cover letter, replacement copy of the questionnaire, Q&A brochure, and postage-paid reply envelope was sent on December 30, 2005, to all remaining non-respondents." (Technical Notes)
August 2007 Data
Questionnaires were mailed on August 20, 2007. Returns were accepted through mid-October 2007. Response rates for this survey are: members, 34%; elders, 43%; ministers, 50%. Results are subject to sampling and other errors. As a general rule, differences of less than 8% are not statistically meaningful.
"The Panel consists of three samples, each drawn from a separate constituency group, or population, of persons affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The PC(USA) consists of congregations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico." (Technical Notes)
"The member sample was drawn from the population of all active members of congregations affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (i.e., persons listed on the active membership rolls of these congregations; see PC(USA) Book of Order, G-5.0202), with the following exclusions: elders currently serving on session and persons unable to complete a mailed survey." (Technical Notes)
"At the end of 2004, the total active membership of the PC(USA) was 2,362,136. Subtracting the 106,4191 active elders, the approximate population for the member sample was 2,255,717." (Technical Notes)
- Sampling Procedures
- "Three representative samples were drawn, one from each of the three populations, using probability techniques." (Technical Notes)
"Lacking exhaustive, national lists of all active members in PC(USA) congregations, we implemented a two-stage sampling process for members and elders. For members, we used proportional stratified sampling to draw a sample of 500 congregations from the national total of 11,019. Congregational strata were based on region, race ethnicity, and membership size. Each sampled congregation was then asked to draw eight member names, using a random process, as described below." (Technical Notes)
- Principal Investigators
- Research Services, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and John P. Marcum, Panel Administrator
- Related Publications
- Research Services, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Mission Work Plan of the General Assembly Council: Findings from the August 2007 Survey. Louisville, KY, 2007.