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National Survey of Congregational Crime and Security 2015




Ulmer, J. T., & Scheitle, C. P. (2020, August 7). National Survey of Congregational Crime and Security 2015.


The Survey Research Center (SRC) was asked to administer the National Survey of Congregational Crime and Security to religious congregations throughout the United States. Surveys were mailed to congregations in paper and pencil form, with the option to submit a web version of the survey if they preferred.

Data File

Cases: 1385
Variables: 366
Weight Variable: None

Data Collection


Original Survey (Instrument)

National Survey of Congregational Crime and Security 2015 Questionnaire

Funded By

National Science Foundation

Collection Procedures

The sample, provided by Project Investigators, consisted of 10,248 randomly selected religious congregations from all 50 states and D.C. An additional 22 congregations were added after the project commenced (total N=10,270). The five-digit ID numbers were randomly generated using Research Randomizer. The ID numbers of the 22 congregations added later consist of six digits in order to assign geocoding to these congregations. The ID numbers were used for tracking and follow-up purposes.

Sampling Procedures

The first contact with potential study participants consisted of a prenotification letter or an e-mail invitation. E-mail addresses were available for 3214 congregations and an e-mail was sent on Jan 12, 2015 inviting these congregations to participate in the study. A prenotification letter was sent on Jan 13, 2015 to congregations for which an e-mail address was not available (Batch 1 N=7034) informing the congregations that they would soon receive a survey in the mail from the Penn State University Survey Research Center (SRC). A number of e-mails were returned as undeliverable, so a prenotification letter was sent to these congregations on Jan 15, 2015 (Batch 2 N=930).

Survey packets were mailed to Batch 1 and Batch 2 congregations on Feb 2, 2015 and Feb 16, 2015, respectively. Packets consisted of a cover letter inviting them to participate in a study examining religious congregations' experiences with crime either by completing the survey included in the packet or by completing a web version of the survey on-line. A Business Reply Envelope was provided for individuals to return the survey if they opted to complete the paper survey. Reminder postcards were mailed on Feb 23, 2015 and March 2, 2015 to Batch 1 and Batch 2 congregations, respectively. Replacement survey packets were sent to Batch 1 congregations (N=5253) on March 23, 2015 and to Batch 2 congregations (N=2665) on March 31, 2015. Congregations who completed and returned the survey (via paper or web) and undeliverable packets were excluded from this mailing.

Principal Investigators

Jeffery T. Ulmer
Christopher P. Scheitle

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