Survey of U.S. Seminary Faculty on Sexuality and Marriage, 2015

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > Religious Groups > Congregations/Other Organizations > Others > Summary



Seminary faculty constitutes a religious elite that influences and trains America’s future religious leaders. This research surveys seminary faculty at 100 ATS-accredited theological schools in the USA. It explores curricular and co-curricular engagements with LGBT issues and realities, faculty understandings and stances on same-sex sexuality and marriage, and faculty understandings of what such stances should imply for religious communities and civil society.
Data File
Cases: 764
Variables: 69
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: March 19 to May 15, 2015
Collection Procedures
In March of 2015, emails were sent to 2,376 professors from 100 theological schools in the United States with invitations to fill out a 70-item online survey about same-sex sexuality and marriage. With email reminders, 764 respondents completed the survey, for a response rate of 32.2 percent.
Sampling Procedures
In the fall of 2015 more than 4,500 seminary professors in the United States taught in 210 theological schools fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Email contact information was secured online for faculty from 97 of these institutions, which included 20 of the 42 Roman Catholic seminaries (47.6 percent), 32 of the 81 Evangelical Protestant seminaries (39.5 percent), 35 of the 68 Mainline Protestant seminaries (51.5 percent), and 10 of the remaining 19 schools (52.6 percent). Since Evangelical Protestant seminaries posted on-line faculty contact information at lowest rates, with the largest interdenominational Evangelical seminaries underrepresented in the initial sample, administrators at six such schools were queried, with three of them providing faculty contact information – giving a total of 35 Evangelical seminaries to match the 35 Mainline ones. An additional 10 ATS schools were surveyed that were not RCS, EPS, or MPS, for a total of 100 ATS schools out of the 210 total.
Principal Investigators
Robert J. Priest, Taylor University
Related Publications
Priest, Robert J. 2018. “Same-Sex Sexuality, Marriage, and the Seminary Professor: Catholic, Evangelical, and Mainline Protestant.” Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion 14 (Article 8): 1-45.
Qualitative Responses
While the survey largely asked forced-choice questions, it did ask a few open-ended questions, and also interspersed throughout the survey opportunities for comments or elaboration with a textbox that said “Additional Comments or clarifications may be placed here.” Since this qualitative information was often sufficiently distinctive as to allow for respondent identities to be inferred, only the quantitative portion of the survey data is posted here.
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