Helping the church make fact-based decisions
Research Services helps congregations, presbyteries, synods, seminaries and other entities of the denomination learn more about themselves and their constituencies.Continue reading
Test Your Bible Knowledge!
How well do you know the Bible? Here's your chance to find out. Click here to download a file with several dozen questions that originally appeared on a 2011 Presbyterian Panel survey. A separate document provides the correct responses.
The document actually includes two sets of overlapping questions, a (relatively) easy set for people in the pew, and a more difficult one designed for ministers. Try them both!
Then, when you're done, go here to see how your responses compare with those of representative samples of Presbyterians who took the quiz as part of the Presbyterian Panel.
Deborah Bruce, associate research manager of Research Services for 19 years, died unexpectedly on July 11. We celebrate her life and many professional accomplishments. Deborah created our first web page in the mid-1990s, and many of her research reports are found on this site, but her contributions are part of everything we did. We miss her greatly, both as a colleague and friend. Read the obituary
What's new in Research Services?
Comparative Statistics 2011 available
Comparative Statistics is published annually in the Fall and summarizes data on PC(USA) membership and finances provided by each congregation to the Office of the General Assembly via the Session Annual Statistical Report. Information about teaching elders including where they serve is also included.
The report shows trends in areas such as membership gains and losses, receipts and expenditures, and number of ministers.
A hard copy is also available through Presbyterian Distribution Services, order item #02056-11035. For questions, please email Ida Smith-Williams or call (800)728-7228, x5159
What Changes Have Occurred in Your Presbytery?
Presbytery Ten-Year Trends will help you answer that question. Now updated with 2011 information for every congregation in the presbytery, these 16 tables and seven figures will provide an overview of presbytery change. Data covers the period of 2001 to 2011 to be able to see ten year changes in sizes of congregations in the presbytery and in contributions over the past ten years, for example. Learn whether the race ethnicity of members, ruling elders, deacons, and teaching elders is changing. See congregations in the presbytery ranked based on growth in membership and worship attendance.
Clerk’s Annual Questionnaire 2011
The Clerk's Annual Questionnaire is distributed to all congregations. The summary for 2011 shows the percentage of responses for each question on the survey. Topics include immigrant ministries, mission activities, economic issues, bequests, loans, special offerings, and guest preachers.
The Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions about the PC(USA)
We are asked many questions about the denomination. Brief answers to some of the more frequent questions are provided.
A Snapshot of Presbyterians
By Andrew Browne (Board of Pensions) and Deborah Bruce (Research Services)
This PowerPoint presentation was given in plenary at the 22oth General Assembly (2012) in Pittsburgh and contains demographic information about Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) membership, worshipers, congregations, and participants in the benefits plan.
How are fast growing PC(USA) churches different from others? What do their worshipers say about their experiences there? What strengths do these congregations have?
We recently invited the fastest growing Presbyterian churches to take part in the U.S. Congregational Life Survey. See what we learned from the responses of over 8,000 worshipers and the pastors of these churches in our new resource: Fastest Growing Presbyterian Churches.
For further research
Who are we Presbyterians?
The Religious and Demographic Profile of Presbyterians 2011 answers this question. The profile is based on the responses of nearly 4,000 participants in the 2012-2014 Presbyterian Panel.
Every three years the PC(USA) Research Services staff assembles a new Panel from representative samples of members, ruling elders and teaching elders (also known as ministers). We first ask these Presbyterians broad questions about their beliefs, demographic characteristics, and religious practices and summarize their responses in the new profile.
Interesting results from the fall 2011 survey include:
- The median age of ruling elders climbed from 58 in 2005 to 62.
- More than three-quarters of members over the age of 25 are married.
- Presbyterians remain predominantly white and college-educated.
Profile of PC(USA) congregations in 2010
This snapshot provides an up-to-date view of the programs, finances, leaders and participants in PC(USA) congregations based on a survey of a random sample of PC(USA) congregations. The survey was part of the larger Faith Communities Today (FACT) 2010 study of 10,000 congregations from 100 Christian denominations and other faith groups in the United States.
Update what you know about Presbyterians
A Field Guide to Presbyterian Congregations: Who’s Going Where and Why
Conducted by the PC(USA) Research Services office, the U.S. Congregational Life Survey tallied responses from 40,000 worshipers in a national study of Presbyterian congregations. In the fall of 2008 and the spring of 2009 a random sample of 521 PC(USA) congregations participated in the U.S. Congregational Life Survey. The survey was given in worship and included the responses of all worshipers age 15 and older. In 2001, a random sample of 523 PC(USA) congregations participated.
A Guide to Presbyterian Congregations: Who’s Going Where and Why (available through Presbyterian Distribution Services, order item 02056-10100) presents findings from the survey. The resource is a companion piece to A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations, previously released by Presbyterian Publishing Corporation).
The Top 10 most frequently asked questions about the PC(USA)
We are asked many questions about the denomination. Here are brief answers to some of the more frequent questions.
Go Figure From Presbyterians Today
Knowledge of the Bible
By JAck Marcum
How well do Presbyterians know the Bible?