2012 Christian Reformed Church Survey


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the survey all about?

A: The Christian Reformed Church Survey is the sixth in a series of surveys administered every five years since 1987, with existing data from 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2007. The survey aims to help leaders at all levels of the Christian Reformed Church in North America to better understand the composition of the church and the beliefs and practices of the participants. The 2012 edition is the second Internet-based survey, saving costs while greatly expanding the potential reach of the survey. As in 2007, the survey again focuses more on the health of local congregations and less on the concerns of denominational agencies. The survey is addressed to a random sample of CRC congregations, but all members and attenders of Christian Reformed Churches are welcome to participate.

Q: When will the survey take place?

A: The survey will be available online from August 9, 2012 to October 31, 2012. Spanish, Korean and Chinese translations are in progress and will be available by mid- to late- August 2012..

Q: Why isn't there a paper version?

A: Printing surveys, mailing surveys and entering data is very expensive, while Internet users are increasingly representative of the population as a whole in the US and Canada. The 2007 survey produced data that was remarkably consistent with known values in a number of ways. We are also taking steps to compare the demographics of respondents to the known composition of participating congregations, and we encourage churches to help less likely respondents to participate. We are also making efforts to encourage and assist congregations with built-in difficulties such as remote location or language barriers.

Q: Are survey responses private?

A: The survey is completely anonymous for individuals and confidential for congregations. As long as you do not identify yourself by name in your typed comments, there is no possibility that your response can be tracked back to you personally. Public information will only report summaries of large groups. Participating congregations will not be publicly identified.

Q: What will be done with the survey responses?

A: The data will be stored securely at Calvin College and analyzed by the CSR team, led by Dr. Rodger Rice and Dr. Neil Carlson. We will write a report to be made public for all to read well in advance of the 2013 meeting of the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church. Congregations with at least 30 respondents will receive a summary report of responses for their congregation. Comments will be collated and reported. In no case will profiles of individual people be created or used for any purpose.

Q: What if we have more questions?

Comments and questions are welcome; contact CSR at 616 526-7799 or csr@calvin.edu.

Q: I'm a survey coordinator, what should I do?

Please visit the information page for congregational survey coordinators for more information on the survey project.