Presbyterian Panel Survey, August 2016 - Theological Reflection, All

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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 August 2016 Presbyterian Panel Theological Reflection survey married a few purposes: (1) assessing the impact of the work of the Presbyterian Mission Agency's Theological Reflection 'Collective Goal Grouping'; (2) exploring complexities in Presbyterians' theology of salvation and their understanding of Reformed theology; and (3) gauging support for and interest in possible innovations in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s theology of worship.

The Presbyterian Mission Agency's Theological Reflection 'Collective Goal Grouping' is one of 22 such Mission Agency groupings. Each grouping is undergoing impact assessment between 2015 and 2017. Goals set for the collective goal grouping (hereafter to be called a ministry) in early 2015 included: equip the church to reflect theologically on its identity and mission through ecumenical and interfaith engagement; equip the church to reflect theologically on its identity and mission; and, equip the church to reflect theologically on the vocation of all believers.

This survey was designed to provide baseline information with which to compare any future change in the ministry's impact. In the case of interfaith activities, it is possible to assess change, between 2013 and 2016, because the August 2016 Panel survey included a set of questions about interfaith activities that appeared - in slightly different form - in the November 2013 Presbyterian Panel survey on Interfaith Relations.

This dataset contains data from all sampled constituency groups.
Data File
Cases: 1,207
Variables: 299
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: August 2016
Original Survey (Instrument)
The August 2016 Presbyterian Panel Theological Reflection Survey
Funded By
Congregational Ministries Division, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Collection Procedures
A total of 2,576 panelists (sampled and volunteer) were invited to participate in this survey. Surveys were offered in English, Spanish, and Korean, and were distributed via both web-based and paper questionnaires. (The Spanish and Korean versions were only available as web-based surveys.) The paper questionnaire was mailed on August 16, 2016 to 1,121 panelists (sampled and volunteer) who had filled out at least one Panel survey before. A reminder postcard was mailed to all paper questionnaire non-respondents (n=1,010) on Sept 6, 2016. The web survey was distributed on August 12, 2016 via email invitation to 1,455 panelists (sampled and volunteer) who have either requested web-based surveys or for whom Research Services has have email addresses and who Research Services continues to invite to participate in the Panel. All web non-respondents were sent email reminders on August 22 and Sept 11, 2016. Returns for both versions of the survey were accepted through Sept 29, 2016.
Sampling Procedures
This survey is the seventh full Presbyterian Panel survey to be completed by the 2015-2017 panelists. It consists of two nationally representative samples of groups affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.): members and teaching elders. In this particular study, a small majority of members who participated in the survey (57 percent) are sampled and the rest (44 percent) are volunteers. Eight in ten teaching elders who responded to the survey (79 percent) are sampled individuals and two in ten (21 percent) are volunteers.

Research Services did not have a correct address for ten of the 2,576 panelists (sampled and volunteer) who were invited to participate in this survey. As a result, there were 1,218 successful deliveries of the survey to members and 1,348 to teaching elders. In the end, 459 members and 750 teaching elders completed the survey. The response rate (total surveys completed/total surveys sent) is 38 percent for members and 56 percent for teaching elders.
Principal Investigators
Perry Chang, PhD, and Joelle Kopacz, MA
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