Presbyterian Panel Survey, November 2008 - Spirituality and Health, Clergy

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


The Presbyterian Panel began in 1973 and is an ongoing panel study in which mailed and web-based questionnaires are used to survey representative samples of constituency groups of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). These constituency groups include members, elders, pastors serving in a congregation, and specialized clergy serving elsewhere. The 3,742 member panel consists of 1,099 members, 1,164 elders and 1,469 clergy. Panels are re-sampled every three years. The main goal of this study is to gather broad information about Presbyterians in terms of their faith (beliefs, church background, and levels of church involvement), and their social, economic, and demographic characteristics (age, sex, marital status, living arrangements, etc.). The November 2008 survey focuses on spirituality and health and repeats many of the same questions that were asked on the January 2007 survey on the same topic.

Data File
Cases: 737
Variables: 269
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: October 2005 (background questions) and September-November 2008
Original Survey (Instrument)
Presbyterian Panel Study, November 2008
Funded By
Congregational Ministries Division, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Collection Procedures
Questionnaires were distributed in the first week of March 2007. Most panelists received a copy by U.S. mail, but a subset (estimated1 at n = 501, or 17%) who had signed up for the service was notified via email. Those who received email invitations and had not yet responded were sent an email reminder on March 11. All non-respondents, including those initially sent the email invitation and reminder, were sent a postcard reminder on March 27. Returns were accepted through early May 2008. Response rates for this survey are: members, 48%; elders, 52%; ministers, 49%. All panelists could complete the survey on the Web, and the percentages of respondents who did so are: members, 17%; elders, 14%; pastors, 25%; specialized clergy, 23%. (Technical Notes)

Populations
"The Panel consists of three samples, each drawn from a separate constituency group, or population, of persons affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The PC(USA) consists of congregations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico." (Technical Notes)

Members
"The member sample was drawn from the population of all active members of congregations affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (i.e., persons listed on the active membership rolls of these congregations; see PC(USA) Book of Order, G-5.0202), with the following exclusions: elders currently serving on session and persons unable to complete a mailed survey." (Technical Notes)

"At the end of 2004, the total active membership of the PC(USA) was 2,362,136. Subtracting the 106,4191 active elders, the approximate population for the member sample was 2,255,717." (Technical Notes)

Elders
"The population of elders is defined as the subset of active members of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations: (1) who have been ordained to the office of elder by a PC(USA) church (or a church affiliated with one of its predecessor denominations) and (2) who are currently serving on the session of a PC(USA) congregation. (See Book of Order,
G-6.0101 through G-6.0108, and G-6.0300 through G-6.0304.) At the end of 2004, the population of elders serving on session was 106,419 (this figure is estimated; 1,475 congregations (13.4%) did not report their number of elders)." (Technical Notes)

Ministers of the Word and Sacrament
"The population of ministers of the Word and Sacrament is defined as those persons who have been ordained to this office and continue to hold it as members of a presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). (See Book of Order, G-6.0200 through G-6.0204.) Retired or emeritus ministers are excluded. At the end of 2004, the population of active ministers totaled 13,786." (Technical Notes)
Sampling Procedures
"Three representative samples were drawn, one from each of the three populations, using probability techniques." (Technical Notes)

Pastors and Specialized Clergy
"A list of all ordained ministers of the Word and Sacrament is maintained by the Office of the General Assembly based on reports from stated clerks of presbyteries. A probability sample of 2,203 ministers was drawn using proportional stratified sampling. All active ministers (i.e., not retired or emeritus) resident in the United States or Puerto Rico were located in one of 56 unique strata based on their region of residence (Northeast, Midwest, South, West), their race ethnicity (African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, Native American, White, other, not known), and their occupational category (pastors, specialized clergy). Random sampling was used within strata." (Technical Notes)
Principal Investigators
Research Services, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and John P. Marcum, Panel Administrator
Related Publications
Research Services, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The November 2008 Survey: Spirituality and Health. Louisville, KY, 2009.