National Congregations Study, Panel Dataset (2012 and 2018-2019)

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > General Population > National > National Congregations Study > Summary



DOI
10.17605/OSF.IO/F7WBM
Citation
Chaves, M. (2021, September 13). National Congregations Study, Panel Dataset (2012 and 2018-2019).
Summary
The National Congregations Study (NCS) dataset fills a void in the sociological study of congregations by providing data that can be used to draw a nationally aggregate picture of congregations. Thanks to innovations in sampling techniques, the 1998 NCS data was the first nationally representative sample of American congregations. Subsequent NCS waves were conducted in 2006-07, 2012, and 2018-19.

Like Wave II, Wave IV again included a panel component. In addition to the new cross-section of congregations generated in conjunction with the 2018 GSS, the NCS-IV included all Wave III congregations that were nominated by GSS respondents who participated in the GSS for the first time in 2012. That is, the panel did not include Wave III congregations that had been nominated by GSS respondents who were in the 2012 GSS because they were part of the GSS's own panel of re-interviewees. The 2018-19 NCS, then, includes a subset of congregations that also were interviewed in 2012. A full codebook, prepared by the primary investigator and containing a section with details about the panel datasets, is available for download here. The codebook contains the original questionnaire, as well as detailed information on survey methodology, weights, coding, and more.

The NCS Cumulative Dataset is also available from the ARDA.
Data File
Cases: 602
Variables: 795
Weight Variable: WT_PANEL34_CONG_DUP, WT_PANEL34_ATTENDEE, WT_PANEL34_CONG_IGN
The Wave III-IV panel dataset contains three weighting variables. These weights allow analysts to examine how a representative sample of congregations in 2012 changed between Waves III and IV. That is, these variables weight the data to make them representative of congregations in 2012, so even when examining the panel data gathered in 2018-19, results represent how congregations that existed in 2012 look in 2018-19, not how all congregations existing in 2018-19 look in 2018-19. Analysts generally will want to weight the data by WT_PANEL34_CONG_DUP when examining the data from the average congregation's perspective or by WT_PANEL34_ATTENDEE when examining the data from the average attendee's perspective. These are analogous to WT_ALL4_CONG_DUP and WT_ALL4_ATTENDEE, respectively, in the cumulative cross-sectional dataset. If analysts wish to ignore duplicate nominations when examining the data from the average congregation's perspective, they should weight by WT_PANEL34_CONG_IGN, which is analogous to WT_ALL4_CONG_IGN in the cumulative cross-sectional dataset.
Data Collection
Date Collected: 2012, 2018-2019
Original Survey (Instrument)
NCS Full Codebook
Funded By
The National Congregations Study (NCS) was made possible by major grants from Lilly Endowment, Inc. The 1998 NCS also was supported by grants from the Smith Richardson Foundation, Inc., Louisville Institute, Nonprofit Sector Research Fund of the Aspen Institute, and Henry Luce Foundation, Inc. The 2006-07 NCS also was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, and Louisville Institute. The 2012 NCS also was supported by grants from the Pew Research Center's Religion and Public Life Project, Louisville Institute, Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at IUPUI, Rand Corporation, and Church Music Institute. The 2012 NCS also received generous support from Duke University and from the National Science Foundation via NSF support of the General Social Survey. The 2018-19 NCS also was supported by grants from the John Templeton Foundation, Louisville Institute, and Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. The National Science Foundation supported the 2018-19 NCS via the module competition that subsidized including questions about respondents' congregations on the 2018 General Social Survey.
Collection Procedures
The GSS is a face-to-face interview conducted by experienced and well-trained interviewers; in 1998, 2006-2007, 2012, and 2018-2019, interviewers were instructed to glean from respondents as much locational information about their congregations as possible. The 1998, 2012, and 2018-2019 NCS data were collected by the same interviewers who collected data from GSS respondents; in 2006-2007, some of the data were also collected by phone-bank interviewers.

The NCS-IV again included a panel component. All 830 NCS-III congregations that had been nominated by the 2012 GSS respondents who were part of the new 2012 GSS cross-section were included in this panel. We re-interviewed 597 of these congregations, 75 of which also were nominated anew in 2018. So the panel effort added 522 congregations to the total sample. In addition to the 597 congregations that were part of the panel sample, five other congregations nominated in 2018 were also a part of the 2012 sample but not included in the panel. So the NCS-IV sample contains 602 cases on which we also have 2012 data. Purists working with the panel sample may want to exclude the five cases that were not initially selected for inclusion in the panel.
Sampling Procedures
The NCS was conducted in conjunction with the General Social Survey (GSS)--an in-person interview with a representative sample of noninstitutionalized English- or Spanish-speaking adults in the United States, conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. In 1998 and 2006, the GSS asked respondents who said they attend religious services at least once a year to report the name and location of their religious congregation. The congregations named by these respondents constitute the 1998 and 2006-07 NCS congregational samples. In 2006-07, a panel component was added to the NCS. In addition to the new cross-section of congregations generated in conjunction with the 2006 GSS, a stratified random sample was drawn from congregations who participated in the 1998 NCS.

The NCS was conducted in conjunction with the General Social Survey (GSS)--an in-person interview with a representative sample of noninstitutionalized English- or Spanish-speaking adults in the United States, conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. In 1998, 2006-2007, 2012, and 2018-2019, the GSS asked respondents who said they attend religious services at least once a year to report the name and location of their religious congregation. The congregations named by these respondents constitute the 1998, 2006-07, 2012, and 2018-2019 NCS congregational samples.

Like Wave II, Wave IV again included a panel component. In addition to the new cross-section of congregations generated in conjunction with the 2018 GSS, we included all Wave III congregations that were nominated by GSS respondents who participated in the GSS for the first time in 2012. That is, we did not include in the panel Wave III congregations that had been nominated by GSS respondents who were in the 2012 GSS because they were part of the GSS's own panel of re-interviewees. The 2018-19 NCS, then, includes a subset of congregations that also were interviewed in 2012.
Principal Investigators
Mark Chaves
Related Publications
Chaves, Mark, Mary Ellen Konieczny, Kraig Beyerlein, and Emily Barman. 1999. "The National Congregations Study: Background, Methods, and Selected Results." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 38(4): 458-476.

Chaves, Mark. 2004. Congregations in America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Chaves, Mark, Mary Hawkins, Anna Holleman, and Joseph Roso. 2020. "Introducing the Fourth Wave of the National Congregations Study." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 59(4): 646-650.
Citation
Manuscripts using this data file or codebook should contain the following citation:

Chaves, Mark, Mary Hawkins, Anna Holleman, and Joseph Roso. 2020. National Congregations Study. Wave III-IV panel data file and codebook. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University, Department of Sociology.
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