Public Service Information about The Role of Congregations in American Society
The interfaith coalition of denominations and faith groups that conducted the Faith Communities Today 2000 national survey of congregations has just formalized their continued partnership as a membership-based program housed within the Hartford Seminary Institute for Religion Research. Explore the links to the left on the home page for an introduction to the original coalition partners and purposes, and for a variety of reports about the findings from the FACT2000 survey.
The new Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership is in its first year and piloting four programmatic goals:
(1) Creating and testing a financially viable methodology for a biennial national survey of congregations, each survey to include three layers of questions:
a. A repeated set of items to track changes and trends,
b. A specific set of topical items tied to a congregational resource, and
c. A unique set of new items of immediate public interest.
The first survey in this biennial series, FACT2005, went into the field on April 27 and preliminary results will be reported on this website. The project has taken slightly longer than expected as we are trying to get a better sampling of churches throughout the country. We expect to have the study done in a few months and the report to be available by March or April of 2006.
The information from the study will be posted to the site http://FACT.hartsem.edu in several ways. If you would like, we can add your email to the email list that will receive an announcement about the release.
(2) Developing a subscription-based electronic parish development newsletter, Leadership and Transformation, targeted to congregational leadership. If you would like a complimentary copy of the July, 2005 inaugural issue, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Leadership & Transformation section of our site and download a copy.
(3) Developing an approach to congregational resources that begins with a congregational situation requiring self-reflection, and then builds a topical module of supporting national survey items for inclusion in one of the biennial surveys, the results from which get built back into the congregational resource. Watch this website and the newsletter for emerging information about resources.
(4) Building a capacity for and experience with narrative approaches that elicit the thick description of congregation's own stories and perspectives on vitality and meeting the challenges of change. Watch this page for emerging findings.
Membership in the Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership is open to religious organizations and denominational agencies that share CCSP's interests in producing and promoting research based resources for congregational development; in mutually enhancing the capacity of religious organizations to create and disseminate such resources through cooperative approaches; and in providing information and understanding to the public through the media role of congregations in American society.
For information about membership, please contact:
David A. Roozen
Chair, CCSP Advisory Committee
Director, Hartford Institute for Religion Research
77 Sherman Street, Hartford 06105
Phone: 860/509-9546 Fax: 860/509-9551