U.S. Congregational Life Survey, 2001, United Methodist Leaders

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

"Over 300,000 worshipers in over 2,000 congregations across America participated in the U.S. Congregational Life Survey--making it the largest survey of worshipers in America ever conducted. Three types of surveys were completed in each participating congregation: (a) an Attendee survey completed by all worshipers age 15 and older who attended worship services during the weekend of April 29, 2001; (b) a Congregational Profile describing the congregation's facilities, staff, programs, and worship services completed by one person in the congregation; and (c) a Leader Survey completed by the pastor, priest, minister, rabbi, or other leader. Together the information collected provides a unique three-dimensional look at religious life in America." (From Appendix 1, A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations: Who's Going Where and Why. U.S. Congregational Life Survey Methodology.) This data file contains data for United Methodist Church Leaders from the random sample of United Methodist congregations. The Congregational Life Survey also has a Congregational profile for United Methodist congregations and an Attender survey of United Methodist worshipers.
Data File
Cases: 175
Variables: 248
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: April 29, 2001
Original Survey (Instrument)
USCLS Leader Survey
Funded By
The Lilly Endowment, Inc.
The Louisville Institute
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Pulpit & Pew (Duke University)
United Methodist Church
Collection Procedures
Self-administered surveys
Sampling Procedures
"The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago identified a random sample of U.S. congregations attended by individuals who participated in the General Social Survey (GSS) in the year 2000. All GSS participants who reported that they attended worship at least once in the prior year were asked to name the place where they worshiped. Since the GSS involves a national random sample of individuals, congregations identified by GSS participants comprise a national random sample of congregations. NORC researchers verified that each nominated congregation was an actual congregation and then invited each congregation to participate in the project..."

"Denominations were also invited and encouraged to draw a random sample of their congregations. Denominational samples were large enough so that the results are representative of worshipers and congregations in each denomination. This allows denominations to compare their "typical" congregation and worshiper to congregations and worshipers in other denominations. Denominations participating in this oversampling procedure were: Church of the Nazarene, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Roman Catholic Church, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Southern Baptist Convention, United Methodist Church (UMC), and United Church of Christ (UCC)." From Appendix 1, A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations: Who's Going Where and Why. U.S. Congregational Life Survey Methodology.)

The United Methodist congregations were stratified before the sample was drawn. The congregations were "stratified by jurisdiction (North Central, Northeastern, Southeastern, South Central, and Western) and church membership size (1-199, 200-499, 500-999, and 1000+). The stratification based on church membership size will be based on the percentage of churches in that size category for that jurisdiction" (United Methodist Church Sampling Procedures.)

The response rate for the United Methodist Church leader sample was 78.6 percent of congregations that agreed to participate.

The United Methodist Church leader data can be linked to the Methodist Profile and Attender data by the ID variable. Note: The ID variable in the Leader survey is the same variable as the CONGREGA variable in the Attender and Profile surveys.
Principal Investigators
Cynthia Woolever, Professor of Sociology of Religious Organizations, Hartford Institute for Religion Research, Hartford Seminary, co-principal investigator

Keith Wulff, Coordinator of Research Services, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), co-principal investigator

Deborah Bruce, Associate Research Manager, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), project manager

Ida Smith-Williams, Associate for Information, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), data management specialist

Kenneth Crow, Church of the Nazarene, coordinated the congregational sampling and recruiting of congregations for the Church of the Nazarene oversample.

Craig This, United Methodist Church Research Office, coordinated the congregational sampling and recruiting of congregations for the United Methodist oversample
Related Publications
A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations: Who's Going Where and Why. 2002. Cynthia Woolever and Deborah Bruce, Westminster John Knox Press.

Beyond the Ordinary: 10 Strengths of U.S. Congregations. 2004. Cynthia Woolever and Deborah Bruce, Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.

Other reports are listed at: http://www.USCongregations.org under "Key Results."
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