Research Services helps the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) make fact-based decisions, based on scientific research processes and reports. We have statistical data that is available to all Presbyterians and to the public. We’ve outlined here some of our most recent work.
What We Do
Research Services provides a wide variety of services including articles and reports, demographics information, statistics, program evaluations, the U.S. Congregational Vitality Survey, and Church Trends. Here are some additional services we can provide your congregation.
Research and Evaluation Expertise
The office of Research Services provides quality service to all entities of the denomination to help the church understand itself and to monitor the larger society in which it is located.
Research Services can provide services in:
- program and process evaluation
- congregational self-assessments and member surveys
- meeting and conference evaluations
- needs assessment
- census data analysis
- evaluations of church entities
- focus groups
- customer satisfaction surveys
- resource evaluations
- pre-testing of new resources
- trend analysis
For information about research capabilities, email Susan Barnett (Coordinator of Research Services).
Data from the Presbyterian Panel and Church Trends are available for use by presbyteries, synods, and congregations.
Church Trends data from the Presbyterian Panel, Comparative Statistics, and Clerks Annual Questionnaire are available for use by presbyteries, synods, and congregations. In addition, we are willing to make these data available to researchers interested in conducting secondary analyses.
For information about available data or to order specific files, please contact Research Services.
Data from the Presbyterian Panel and denominational data are also available from the American Religion Data Archive.
We also have a wealth of resources available to congregations who want to know about their congregations and/or about their local communities. Our Help for Congregations page describes these resources.
Read Statistics, Reports and Articles
Listening to the Church
Part of our mission is to seek feedback from the denomination. Help us in that effort by letting us know what’s on your mind:
- If you have a specific research question, we’ll try to find an answer. (For more general questions, contact PresbyTel — the reference desk for the PCUSA — providing answers to questions from members, elders, ministers, and others about the denomination’s resources and materials, programs, policies, and conferences and other events. PresbyTel can be reached at (800) 872-3283 or send email to: PresbyTel.
- If you have questions or feedback about our work, please let us know. Send such comments to: Research Services.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How can we learn more about our worshipers? Go to Help for Congregations.
- How can we learn more about our community? Data on communities are available at Research Services’ Demographics site and the Religious Congregations and Membership site (click on “GIS Maps” in the right hand column).
- Where can I find information about what Presbyterians think about a particular issue? This type of information can be found under Presbyterian Panel.
- Do you do Genealogical Research? No.
- Can you help me locate my baptism or my parents’ marriage certificate records? No, please contact the Presbyterian Historical Society.
- I want to know more about a congregation I am thinking of joining (or serving). Do you have information on individual congregations? Yes, go to Research Services’ Church Trends site.
- Can you tell me whether my community has more Presbyterians or more Lutherans? Yes,Religious Congregations and Membership data has this information. (click on “U.S. Congregational Membership Report” on the left side).
- Can you help us with the problem we are having with our Pastor? No, please contact your presbytery executive or the Preparation for Ministry Office at (888) 728-7228 x5771.
- How can we get the mistakes corrected in data you list for our congregation on the Church Trends Report? Email email@example.com with the correct data.
- Our church is located in the wrong place on the Research Services’ Demographics site. How can we get that corrected? Contact us
- Can you provide us salary information for clergy? No, but the Office of Vocation provides presbytery compensation minimums and the Board of Pensions provides annual salary information (look for “Salaries” under the “Forms and Publications” link). If you want additional information on salaries, contact the Board of Pensions (800) 773-7752.
- How can I repay Research Services for all the help they have provided? We are in the process of developing a Research endowment fund. For the time being you may send a check to Research Services PC(USA), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202; please specify Research Services Endowment on your check.
Research Services Staff
The Research Services staff includes several social scientists with backgrounds in sociology, demography, survey research, program evaluation, and psychology. The staff conducts research to support church policy development and to help in planning, development, and evaluation of programs and resources. They have expertise in survey research, program evaluation, needs assessment, focus groups, data analysis and congregational studies.
Susan Barnett, PhD, Public Policy
Develops relationships across PC(USA), ecumenical partners, and other researchers. Provides leadership to CCSP/FACT, an ecumenical congregational studies organization. Designs and conducts research, both within the PC(USA) and ecumenical and interfaith partners; leads or consults on projects related to church finances, young adults, social justice, and innovative approaches to sharing data.
Angie Andriot, PhD, Sociology
Designs and conducts research; leads or consults on projects related to congregational vitality, alternative expressions of church, evangelism, Christian formation, and gender and religious identity. Leads Research Services team in improving data visualization techniques, sampling, and weighting data.
Perry Chang, PhD, Sociology
Designs and conducts research; leads or consults on projects related to Presbyterian polity and governance, global mission, and cultural diversity. Analyzes qualitative data collected through the use of focus groups and interviewing techniques. Responds to requests for data and provides data firstname.lastname@example.org
Deb formats surveys, assists with large mailings, programs web surveys, and processes data.