Center for Social Research

CSR presents 2012 survey results to CRC Synod


Former CSR director Rodger Rice and current director Neil Carlson completed a full report on the 2012 CRC Survey and presented the results (video, starts at 2:45) to the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church on Monday, June 10, 2013.

From the summer of 2012 through January 2013, the Center for Social Research (CSR) conducted the 2012 wave of the Christian Reformed Church of North America survey. As with the previous wave, the survey focused on church health and trends over time within the denomination.

The following resources are now available:

Questions? Contact CSR at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Posted by Neil Carlson on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 09:33 AM
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Report on 2009 Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Survey


Since 2004, CSR has been supporting the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) in its Sustaining Pastoral Excellence project, which has been funded by grants from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. Three waves of surveys have been conducted on an approximately biennial bases, in 2004/2005 (which we're now labeling "2005" for simplicity's sake), 2007 and 2009.

A full report is now available comparing all three survey waves and including statistical models of pastors' self-reported pastoral health (vocational satisfaction and sustainability), leadership skills, and congregational fulfillment of the CRC's mission statement. The report finds statistical stability across all three waves--excellence is indeed being sustained. But we also identify many areas of concern with room for improvement, especially council support through systematic feedback on preaching. The statistical models suggest that programmatic interventions per se have mixed effects, but targeting leadership skill development could stimulate improvements in pastoral health.

The following resources are available from CSR; also see the SPE project's survey page.

  1. Full report (11.2MB; 78-page color PDF, with extensive bookmarks and hypertext cross-referencing)
  2. Printable PDF questionnaires for pastors and clerks of council.
  3. Online web-based questionnaires for pastors and clerks of council (shown in preview mode; data is not collected).
  4. Charts and frequencies of multiple choice items for pastors (56-page PDF) and clerks of council (26-page PDF).
Comments and critiques are welcome! Click "read more" below to see a sample finding from the 2009 survey.

UPDATE 12/20: The CRC Newsroom has a story about the survey.

UPDATE 1/15: The Grand Rapids Press has written a story about the survey.


Posted by Kathryn A. Bardolph on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 12:12 PM
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Christian Reformed Church congregant survey report published

2013 UPDATE: the report on the 2012 CRC Survey is available.

CSR has just released our report on the 2007-2008 "CRC 150th Anniversary Survey," titled Spiritual and Social Trends and Patterns in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The report was co-authored with our esteemed "director emeritus" Rodger Rice. We all benefitted from tremendous support and cooperation from dozens of churches and the denominational leadership of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

The report's main sections cover over-time trends from CRC surveys dating back to 1987; measures and explanations of congregational health; factors related to generous, stewardship-oriented giving to the church; and an analysis of respondents' comments.

The following resources are available:

Here's a sample of the report's analysis, from Figure 13 on page 22 of the report. It shows the distribution of congregational health measures for churches with at least 20 respondents, sorted from healthiest to least healthy. Each colored square is a particular respondent's score on a highly reliable scale rating the congregation's health on 24 items representing 11 areas. The chart shows that there is substantial internal variation within churches, no matter how healthy they are--even the church with the healthiest score has some relatively disappointed congregants, and even the least healthy church has some fairly sanguine members.

Image created in Tableau 5.0.

Posted by Neil Carlson on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 03:25 PM
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Prof. Corwin Smidt and student to publish paper on political cues during worship

Political science professor Corwin Smidt and senior Calvin College student Brian Schaap have co-authored a paper which will be published in a future issue of the Review of Religious Research (RRR). The paper is titled "Public Worship and Public Engagement: Pastoral Cues within the Context of Worship Services". An advance PDF copy of the unpublished working paper is available.

Dr. Corwin Smidt
Brian Schaap


Posted by Neil Carlson on Friday, January 18, 2008 at 11:52 AM
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CRC 150th Anniversary Survey

The CSR is well into administering a completely online Christian Reformed Church 150th Anniversary Survey. More than 1400 responses have already been received! 

The CSR would like to thank all who have participated as well as the survey coordinators who have been invaluable in recruiting participants.

Please follow this link to fill out the survey if you are part of a CRC congregation and would like to participate.

CRC 150th Anniversary Survey


Posted by Kirsten Anderson on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 06:10 PM
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