Democratizing access to the best data on religion since 1997

Archive Navigation

View Question Bank

Archive Categories

Sort the above Archive Category by:

Browse Alphabetically
Browse All Categories
Browse Newest Additions

File Summaries

Search Data Archive

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




Woolever, C., Wulff, K., Bruce, D., Smith-Williams, I., & This, C. (2021, May 24). U.S. Congregational Life Survey, 2001, United Methodist Profile.


"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.) The United Methodist Profile contains data from the Congregational Profile for United Methodist Church congregations. The Congregational Life Survey also has a Leader survey of United Methodist leaders and an Attender survey of United Methodist worshipers.

The ARDA has added three additional variables to the original data set to enhance the users' experience on our site.

Data File

Cases: 181
Variables: 266
Weight Variable: None

Data Collection

April 29, 2001

Original Survey (Instrument)

USCLS Congregational Profile

Funded By

The Lilly Endowment, Inc.
The Louisville Institute
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
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.)

See table below:
North Central Northeastern South Central Southeastern Western
(n=7,833) (n=7,785) (n=6,339) (n=12,348) (n=1,822)
1-199 members 67.1% 65.8 65.5 69.8 60.6
200-499 members 22.6 25.1 20.6 18.7 26.8
500-999 members 8.4 7.6 8.1 7.6 9.7
1,000+ members 1.9 1.5 5.8 3.9 2.9

The response rate for the United Methodist Church random profile sample was 78.1 percent of congregations that agreed to participate.

The United Methodist Church profile data can be linked to the Methodist Attender and Leader data by the CONGREGA variable. Note: The CONGREGA variable in the Profile and Attender surveys is the same variable as the ID variable in the Leader survey.

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

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.


TIME1, TIME2, TIME3, TIME4, TIME5 represent times in 4 digits, on a 24-hour clock. So most morning services will stay as they are. Twelve was added to evening services to make them on the 24-hour clock. Examples: 8am would be 800, 8:30am would stay as 830, 7pm would be 1900, and noon would be 1200.

Our Sponsors

Our Affiliates

© 2024 The Association of Religion Data Archives. All rights reserved.