Presbyterian Panel Survey, February 2008 - Volunteering and Other Topics, Clergy

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


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 February 2008 survey focuses on volunteering and other topics.

Data File
Cases: 641
Variables: 351
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: October 2005 (background questions) and March-May 2008
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)

February 2008 Data
Questionnaires were distributed in the first week of March 2007. Most panelists received a copy by U.S. mail, but a subset (estimated1 at n = 501, or 17%) who had signed up for the service was notified via email. Those who received email invitations and had not yet responded were sent an email reminder on March 11. All non-respondents, including those initially sent the email invitation and reminder, were sent a postcard reminder on March 27. Returns were accepted through early May 2008. Response rates for this survey are: members, 48%; elders, 52%; ministers, 49%. All panelists could complete the survey on the Web, and the percentages of respondents who did so are: members, 17%; elders, 14%; pastors, 25%; specialized clergy, 23%. (Technical Notes)

Populations
"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)

Ministers of the Word and Sacrament
"The population of ministers of the Word and Sacrament is defined as those persons who have been ordained to this office and continue to hold it as members of a presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). (See Book of Order, G-6.0200 through G-6.0204.) Retired or emeritus ministers are excluded. At the end of 2004, the population of active ministers totaled 13,786." (Technical Notes)
Sampling Procedures
"Three representative samples were drawn, one from each of the three populations, using probability techniques." (Technical Notes)

Pastors and Specialized Clergy
"A list of all ordained ministers of the Word and Sacrament is maintained by the Office of the General Assembly based on reports from stated clerks of presbyteries. A probability sample of 2,203 ministers was drawn using proportional stratified sampling. All active ministers (i.e., not retired or emeritus) resident in the United States or Puerto Rico were located in one of 56 unique strata based on their region of residence (Northeast, Midwest, South, West), their race ethnicity (African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, Native American, White, other, not known), and their occupational category (pastors, specialized clergy). Random sampling was used within strata." (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.). Volunteering and Other Topics: The Report of the February 2008 Presbyterian Panel Survey. Louisville, KY, 2010.