Center for Social Research

CSR discusses Deliberative Polling with “Stateside” on Michigan Radio


On September 17, CSR’s Neil Carlson and Allison Rudi were interviewed by Michigan Radio’s Cynthia Canty about the Kent County Deliberative Poll.

The brief article and interview audio are published in the Next Idea series on promising ideas for the future of Michigan.

Research assistants John Gordon and Jack Van Allsburg are due special thanks and credit for their able, committed support of the project. John connected us with the Next Idea team and has been plowing through acres of research documents, while Jack has been a tireless, skilled writer, editor, and graphic designer for the project; the 6-step illustration of Deliberative Polling included in the article is Jack’s handiwork.

Posted by Neil Carlson on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 08:51 AM
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Women in Leadership National Study (Gender Parity Project)

UPDATE: Christianity Today has a front-page article today (September 22) covering this study, also called the Gender Parity Project. The research team has also issued a press release.

Together with partner scholars Dr. Janel Curry of Gordon College and Dr. Amy Reynolds of Wheaton College, Calvin College is conducting the Women in Leadership National Study through the Center for Social Research. Dr. Reynolds has previewed the results on the “Black, White and Gray” blog at, which triggered later coverage by Christianity Today.

As part of the study, CSR student research assistants have collected data on over 1,400 evangelical organizations selected from the membership of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and the Accord Network of antipoverty organizations (formerly AERDO). Data sources are public records such as IRS forms 990 and ECFA public profiles, along with research assistants’ best estimates of the gender and race of each employee and board member listed on each organization’s 2010 form 990.

The interactive Tableau visualizations below present the results as of spring 2014.

Posted by Neil Carlson on Monday, September 22, 2014 at 12:29 AM
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Now in development: the Kent County Deliberative Poll


Civic-minded friends, watch this space for news about our newest initiative, the Kent County Deliberative Poll®, inspired by and intended for local implementation in cooperation with James Fishkin and the Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University.

Please extend a warm welcome to Project Coordinator Allison Rudi, who will be contacting a broad coalition of community partners and research organizations (including you) to advise, sponsor, conduct and benefit from this combined research and civic education project. This fall, we’ll be working on coalition-building, branding and design, fundraising, research design, project planning and budgeting, development of unbiased reading materials, recruitment of expert deliberative-democracy moderators, student involvement, and more.

Questions? Want to get in on the ground floor? Contact Allison by email or call CSR at 616 526-8934.

Posted by Neil Carlson on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 10:33 AM
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Research Tip: Designing Surveys Using Tables

Survey design is an integral part of our work here at the CSR. From the programs we evaluate to the research we conduct, the survey is still one of the leading measurement tools used for social research.  While surveys have undergone serious electronic transformation with the introduction and increasing capabilities of various software programs, paper surveys are still in high demand from our clients.

Because of the high quantity of paper surveys that we design, the CSR is constantly looking for ways to improve them for our clients. One survey design trick that consistently benefits us is putting the entire survey into a (partially) invisible table.


Posted by Michael Kelly on Monday, August 05, 2013 at 04:44 PM
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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

Posted by Neil Carlson on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 09:33 AM
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