Who We Are
Faith Communities Today (FACT) is a truly unique interfaith research coalition that conducts and produces surveys, studies and published reports on congregational life in the United States. Our members represent a wide spectrum of American religious bodies and faith traditions, including Baha’i, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Latter-day Saint, Muslim, Non-denominational, Protestant (both mainline and evangelical), and Roman Catholic.
The mission of our coalition is three-fold:
- To conduct solid, academically sound research on US religious congregations.
- To make the outcomes of this research available and helpful to national, regional and local religious leaders and the people in the pews – congregations themselves.
- To communicate our key findings in an approachable and engaging form to the media, reaching wider audiences interested in American religion.
What We Produce
Our main outputs are a series of studies and published reports on various aspects of congregational life in America. We offer insights into pressing questions for congregations and religious leaders, such as how congregations achieve greater vitality, how to attract and retain young adult members, what provokes congregational conflict and how it can be resolved, what builds engagement and loyalty among members of a congregation, how American congregations teach and learn, and many more topics.
Why Partner With Us
FACT research has proven to be particularly valuable for national, regional and congregational religious leaders. Our model is unique in the field of religious research in several key ways:
- Insider Knowledge. We are a partnership of researchers who represent a wide spectrum of faith traditions and denominations. This means that from start to finish, our joint research is informed, conceived, conducted, and analyzed by people who have in-depth knowledge of their respective religious bodies – our member organizations.
- Shared resources. The joint work of FACT extends far beyond what the limited capacities and budgets of our individual partner organizations could afford. FACT members conduct quality research at dramatically lower costs, because we share our resources, time, talents and expenses. Most importantly, we learn from each other and share insights.
- Scale and reliability of studies. The FACT partnership allows us to achieve something that few other national surveys of individuals and no smaller congregational surveys can: study congregations using a solid national sample that spans the widest possible array of religious traditions.
- Opportunities to dig deeper. FACT partners are able to customize our joint surveys and even add questions particular to the needs of their religious groups. All partners own the data gathering from within their constituent congregations. Many of them have used this data to dig deeper into the questions that are most important for their own religious traditions, while also examining how their group fits into the overall national findings and trends.
- Broadening your reach. FACT offers all partners a national audience for their results through promotion on the FACT website, Facebook page, and e-newsletters. Our members can thus reach a wide array of faith leaders, academics, journalists, and general readers.
How We Work Together
Our members meet annually (typically in July or August) to network, share research, and – most importantly – discuss ongoing and future joint projects. Our major surveys of American religious congregations are conducted every 5 to 10 years; the first was completed in 2000 and the most recent was conducted in 2020. All participating religious bodies use a core of identical questions on their surveys. At the same time, FACT partners are also able to customize surveys by clarifying potentially confusing terms for their own audiences and by supplementing additional questions in their group’s survey that address specific topics of interest. All collected data is then merged together to form an interfaith study of congregational life. Our partners retain all of the data gathered from their constituent congregations. Between major FACT surveys, we work together on smaller studies that address issues in congregational life of great interest or concern to our partner organizations. Our two most recent studies focused on engaging young adults and congregational vitality.
We offer different levels of membership in our research coalition.
|Benefits (in addition to all of those listed above)
|2 voting representatives at our annual meeting with travel expenses paid by FACT
|1 voting representative at our annual meeting with travel expenses paid by FACT
|Less than $2,500 or in-kind contributions
|Non-voting participation in our annual meeting and FACT studies with travel expenses paid by member
Beyond formal membership status, we also offer many other options and opportunities to become engaged in our FACT partnership and network. Please contact us to learn more about our partnership and how you can become involved: