ELCA-Episcopal Church Clergy Study, 1998

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > Religious Groups > Members or Leaders > Other > Summary


The data come from a random national sample of 1,339 ELCA pastors and 901 Episcopal priests and deacons who responded to an extensive mail survey in the summer and fall of 1998. A second wave was sent two months after the first survey; second-wave respondents did not differ in significant ways from first-wave respondents. The authors’ personal affiliation with an ELCA-affiliated college (which was disclosed to survey recipients on the survey’s cover page) almost certainly accounts for the considerably higher response rate from ELCA pastors. This extensive survey with more than 350 individual questions captures essential information about clergy, their congregations, and aspects of the local community.

The survey asked a broad range of questions about their personal backgrounds and their theological orientations. It asked about the frequency and means by which they present political messages and take political actions within and beyond their congregations. It also asked about their personal political attitudes and actions. The survey also gained information about how their congregations compare with others in the local community and in the denomination. It also gained information about how often and in what ways clergy interact with their community and denominational clergy colleagues. Finally, clergy offered their views on denominational organizations and issues. They told us what political and religious information sources they used on a regular basis.

Data File
Cases: 2,240
Variables: 350
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: Summer and fall of 1998
Funded By
This research was funded by a National Science Foundation grant (SBR-9809536) awarded to Gustavus Adolphus College as well as by a small grant from the American Political Science Association.
Collection Procedures
Self-administered survey delivered by mail
Sampling Procedures
The population consisted of the complete roster of clergy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Episcopal Church, USA (ECUSA) in 1998. 3000 clergy from each denomination were sampled. From the 6000 self-administered surveys mailed, the co-PIs received 2240 responses, a total response rate of 37.3. The ELCA response rate was 44.6 (1339 returned) while the ECUSA response rate was 30.0 (901 returned).
Principal Investigators
Paul A. Djupe, Denison University, and Christopher P. Gilbert, Gustavus Adolphus College, Co-PI's
Related Publications
Djupe, Paul A. and Christopher P. Gilbert. 2003. the Prophetic Pulpit: Clergy, Churches, and Communities in American Politics. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Djupe, Paul A. and Christopher P. Gilbert. 2009. The Political Influence of Churches. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Djupe, Paul A. and Patrick K. Hunt. 2009. “Beyond the Lynn White Thesis: Congregational Effects on Environmental Concern.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 48(4): 670-686.

Djupe, Paul A. and Christopher P. Gilbert. 2008. “Politics and Church: Byproduct or Central Mission?” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 47(1): 45-62.

Djupe, Paul A., Anand E. Sokhey, and Christopher P. Gilbert. 2007. “Present but not Accounted for? Gender Differences in Civic Resource Acquisition.” American Journal of Political Science 51(4): 906-920.

Djupe, Paul A., Laura R. Olson, and Christopher P. Gilbert. 2006. “Whether to Adopt Statements on Homosexuality in Two Denominations.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 45(4): 609-621.

Djupe, Paul A. and Christopher P. Gilbert. 2006. “The Resourceful Believer: Generating Civic Skills in Church.” The Journal of Politics 68(1): 116-27.

Djupe, Paul A., Laura R. Olson, and Christopher P. Gilbert. 2005. “Sources of Clergy Support for Denominational Lobbying in Washington.” Review of Religious Research 47(1): 86-99.

Djupe, Paul A. and Christopher P. Gilbert. 2002. “The Political Voice of Clergy.” The Journal of Politics 64(2): 596-609.
Note 1: ID Coding
Values on the variable ID represent a unique six-digit ID number assigned to each of the self-administered surveys. ID values starting with "10" identify surveys returned by ELCA pastors in the first wave of the survey, while ID values starting with "20" identify surveys returned by ELCA pastors in the second wave of the survey. ID values starting with "11" identify surveys returned by Episcopal priests and deacons in the first wave of the survey, and ID values starting with "22" identify surveys returned by Episcopal priests and deacons in the second wave of the survey. If the ID number was missing, "1x9999" was entered for a first wave survey and "2x9999" was entered for a second wave survey (where "x" is either a 0 or 1/2 depending on the denomination). Religious affiliation of the respondents can also be identified by referring to the variable RELIG.
Note 2: Seminary Abbreviations
Variables SEMNAME1 and SEMNAME2 utilize some abbreviations of seminary names. These are given below:

For the ELCA sample:
GETTY = Gettysburg
LUTHER = Luther Northwestern Sem; Northwestern; Luther; Luther School
LST-CHI = Lutheran School of Theology (Chicago)
LST-COL = Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (Columbia, SC); or just Columbia
LST-RI = Luthern School of Theology (Rock Island); Augustana; Rock Island
LST-PHI = Lutheran Seminary (Philadelphia); or Philadelphia
PL = Pacific Lutheran; Pacific; PLU; PLTS
TRIN = Trinity or Trinity/ELTS
WART = Wartburg

For the Episcopal sample:
VTS = Virginia Theological Seminary
SEW = University of the South--Sewanee, Tenn.
PDS = Philadelphia Divinity School
CLR = Claremont
GEN = General Theological--New York City
AND = Andover Newton Theological School
PERK = Perkins School of Theology
CDSP = Church Divinity School of the Pacific
SEB = Seabury-Western
Note 3: Journal Abbreviations
Variables JOURNL1 through JOURNL10 utilize some abbreviations of names of journals and magazines. These are given below:

AD = Anglican Digest
AFA = AFA (American Family Association Journal)
ATR = Anglican Theological Review
AW = Anglican World
CC = Christian Century
CHNEWS = Church News
CJ = Clergy Journal
CONTEXT = Context
CROSSC = CrossCurrents
CT = Christianity Today
DIAC = Diacono
DIALOG = Dialogue
EL = Episcopal Life
FOCUS = Focus on the Family
FORUM = Lutheran Forum, or Forum Letter, or Forum
FT = First Things
HOM = Homeletics
INT = Interpretation
JBL = Journal of Biblical Letters (note: original codebook indicates that the co-PIs "think" this is correct)
LC = Living Church
LUT = The Lutheran
NETUSER = (used if any internet or e-mail sources were listed)
NEWSP = (used for any diocesan newspaper listed)
NR = Net Results
ODOOR = Open Door
OHANDS = Open Hands
OTHSIDE = Other Side
PART = Partners
SOJ = Sojourners
STR = Sewanee Theological Review
THEOL = Theology Today
TOUCH = Touchstone
WAND = Wanderer
WEAV = Weavings
W&W = Word & Words