Faith Communities Today (FACT) Partners

One major component of this project includes both large-scale quantitative key-informant and member surveys of congregations. This component draws upon the Faith Communities Today (FACT) collaborative team of over 20 different denominational research groups. Many of these partners have agreed to participate in this research effort, including:

American Baptist Churches USA

Key Researchers: Dr. C. Jeff Woods and Rev. Jessica C. Williams

American Baptist Churches Information System (ABCIS) tracks, houses, and disseminates congregational and clergy data from ABC congregations. In addition to this, their Regional Ministries Department regularly assesses the needs of ABC congregations and judicatories and conducts topical surveys in order to better serve their constituency.

Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA)

Key Researcher: Jon Wiggins

CARA is a non-profit research center that has been conducting social scientific studies about and for the Catholic Church, since 1964. CARA’s mission has three aspects: to increase the Church’s self-understanding, to serve the applied research needs of Church decision-makers, and to advance scholarly research on religion, particularly Catholicism. Since 2000, Jonathon Wiggins has been CARA’s Director of Parish Services. These surveys evaluate the adequacy of the parish’s services and assess member needs.

Church of the Nazarene

Key Researcher: Rev. Rich Houseal, Ed.D.

The Church of the Nazarene exists to serve as an instrument for advancing the kingdom of God through the preaching and teaching of the gospel throughout the world. Their well-defined commission is to preserve and propagate Christian holiness as set forth in the Scriptures, through the conversion of sinners, the reclamation of backsliders, and the entire sanctification of believers. Research Services exists to resource Nazarenes everywhere with timely, accurate information in four general areas: statistical analyses, demographics, mapping, and surveys. 

Rev. Rich Houseal, Ed.D., serves as the director of Research Services. He also serves as the secretary/treasurer for the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB), and is one of the principal investigators for the U.S. Religion Census.

Episcopal Church

Key Researcher: Rev. Molly F. James, PhD

Molly James is the Deputy Executive Officer of the General Convention for The Episcopal Church, which supports the governance of the Church. One of the responsibilities of the Office of the General Convention  is the collection of data from congregations and dioceses. The Episcopal Church has also been a multi-year participant in the work of Faith Communities Today.

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod

Key Researcher: Ryan Curnutt

Research Services serves the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) by providing a complete range of research related services including designing and conducting original research as well as secondary analysis of existing data. Senior Research Analyst Ryan Curnutt has worked with LCMS Research Services for over a decade. In that time, he has been the principal investigator on several major studies including a 2017 study of Young Adults, a 2018 Clergy Worker Wellness study, and the Synod’s own research on the impact of COVID-19 on congregations, clergy, and parochial schools.

Metropolitan Community Churches

Key Researcher: Rev. Dr. Kharma Amos

Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) is a denomination of congregations across the globe. Since their founding in 1969, the MCC has had a primary affirming outreach to the LGBTQ+ community. MCC is a progressive Christian community rooted in the core values of inclusion, community, spiritual transformation, and justice.

Nondenominational Churches and Megachurches

Key Researcher: Dr. Scott Thumma

Scott Thumma grew up in an independent baptist tradition and has tracked the rise of nondenominational religious organizations since 1998. He was responsible for the first census of over 35,000 nondenominational churches in the United States in 2010 as a part of the US Religion Census and surveyed a representative sample of these for the 2010 Faith Communities Today project. He has replicated this census and survey effort in 2020 and is currently engaged in the analysis of that research. His work in this area can be found on the Hartford Institute site. 

Orthodox Christian Churches

Key Researcher: Alexei Krindatch

Alexei Krindatch is a sociologist of religion and an expert on US Orthodox Christian Churches. He is the author of “Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches” (2011) and “Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Monasteries” (2016). Alexei served as the research director at the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute in Berkeley, CA (2005-2009) and the research coordinator for the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA (2011-2019). Since 2019, Alexei has been serving as a National Coordinator for the Second Census of US Orthodox Christian Churches / 2020 US Religion Census. He lives in Berkeley, CA. For more information on his work, visit Orthodox Reality.

Presbyterian Church (USA)

Key Researcher: Susan Barnett, PhD

Research Services helps the Presbyterian Church (USA) make fact-based decisions, based on scientific research processes and reports. Part of Research Services’ ongoing commitment to congregational studies is the US Congregational Vitality Survey (USCVS), the successor to the US Congregational Life Survey (USCLS). The USCVS measures seven areas of congregational vitality: lifelong discipleship, intentional authentic evangelism, outward incarnational focus, empowering servant leadership, spirit-inspired worship, caring relationships, and ecclesial health.

Susan Barnett, PhD, Director, Research Services, focuses on health and wellbeing of ministers, church finance, and nonprofit management. She worked in medical research for 25 years before coming to PCUSA and has led studies on COVID, mental health, and PCUSA’s first minister study for actively serving and retired ministers.

Seventh-day Adventist Church (North American Division)

Key Researchers: Dr. Petr Cincala and team

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a mainstream Protestant church with approximately 20 million members worldwide. The Seventh-day Adventist Church seeks to enhance quality of life for people everywhere and to let people know that Jesus is coming again soon. The North American Division (NAD) component of the global church consists of 1.2 million members residing in the United States, Canada, Bermuda, and Guam-Micronesia. Research services for the NAD are provided by the North American Division Center on Research and Evaluation (NADCoRE) under the direction of Dr. Cincala assisted by Dr. Paul Brantley and others.

United Church of Christ

Key Researcher: Erica Dollhopf, PhD

In service to the local church in all settings, the Center for Analytics, Research & Development, and Data (CARDD) at the United Church of Christ (UCC) strives to empower ministry transformation, champion innovation, and capture trends in the UCC to support a just world for all. CARDD is committed to researching, collecting, and analyzing data in order to tell our shared stories reliably and accessibly. Erica Dollhopf has been the director of CARDD since 2018. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Penn State University and is an adjunct faculty member at Hartford Seminary.

The United Methodist Church

Key Researcher: Teresa Faust

Market Research is a navigation tool used to inform decisions, assess progress toward strategic goals and make course corrections to fulfill our goal of engaging people in the story of God’s work in the world through The United Methodist Church. 

Teresa Faust is Senior Manager, Research and Metrics at United Methodist Communications. She received her B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of Dayton. In her role she works to strengthen understanding of the experiences and needs of constituent groups such as Clergy, Laity, Members and Spiritual Seekers.  

Teresa serves on a variety of boards including current Chair of InterSearch, a consortium of international Christian media researchers, Programming V.P. for the Nashville Chapter of the Religion Communicators Council, and At Large Member of Faith Communities Today (FACT).

Unitarian Universalist Association

Key Researcher: Rev. Tandi Rogers

The mission of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is to equip congregations for health and vitality, to support and train lay and professional leaders, and to advance Unitarian Universalist values in the world.​ The UUA is the central organization for the Unitarian Universalist (UU) religious movement in the United States. The UUA’s 1000+ member congregations are committed to Seven Principles that include the worth of each person, the need for justice and compassion, and the right to choose one’s own beliefs.

Collaborating Organizations

At this moment, every aspect of religious life in the country is being profoundly affected and may mark a dramatic change to how religion is done into the future. Tracking this changing reality is a significant task beyond the ability of any one organization or research center. As a result, we are convening multiple gatherings of a diverse group of organizations both to inform the perspective and instruments of our research but even more important, to coordinate and collaborate the significant efforts of data collection that are being done by these groups. We work collaboratively with the following organizations, among others, to hold collaborative network conversations that aim to combine efforts, standardize tools, and share results. Other groups may be added in the coming months and years as we find overlapping research interests in tracking the pandemic.

Asbury Latino Center – Asbury Theological Seminary

Organization Representative: Dr. Danny Román-Gloró

The Asbury Latino Center serves as the bridge between the Latino/a community and Asbury Theological Seminary’s theological tradition, ethos, mission and educational resources. To this end, the center seeks to create and sustain a set of educational program offerings (both credit and non-credit) that are contextualized, accessible and affordable, and culturally responsive to the ministry needs of the Latino/a church in the USA and the world.

Danny Román-Gloró serves as Director of the Asbury Latino Center. He holds a PhD in Communication and a DMin in preaching. He serves on the faculty of several schools including Asbury Theological Seminary, Liberty University – School of Communication, Grand Canyon University – School of Theology, and Western Theological Seminary. He is an ordained Elder in the Free Methodist Church and has served as a Pastor in Spanish and English-speaking congregations in Florida, Illinois, and Massachusetts.

The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA)

Organization Representative: Dr. Andrew Whitehead

The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) strives to democratize access to the best data on religion. Data included in the ARDA are submitted by the foremost religion scholars and research centers in the world. Our data collections are resources to serve educators, journalists, religious congregations, and researchers.

Andrew L. Whitehead is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Association of Religion Data Archives at the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at IUPUI. He is the author of Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States (Oxford University Press, 2020). Along with his work on Christian nationalism, Whitehead’s current research focus also explores childhood disability and religion.

Association of Theological Schools

Organization Representative: Deborah H.C. Gin

The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) is a membership organization of graduate theological schools. The Commission on Accrediting of ATS accredits the schools and approves the degree programs. The ATS Programs and Services Department offers educational events and resources to assist member schools with the development of best practices, peer networks, research, and data exploration.

Deborah H.C. Gin is ATS Director of Research and Faculty Development. In addition to launching the Association’s new research initiative, she contributes to the ongoing dialogue about educational models that will have future viability and sustainability. Gin’s areas of research include pedagogy, higher education administration, multicultural education engagement, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her articles have appeared in To Improve the Academy, Theological Education, and Multicultural Education Review. Gin is a regular blogger on leadership issues, has been a frequent invited speaker on topics related to  race, excellence, and inclusion, and is a member of the AACU’s VALUE initiative Intercultural Competence rubric development team. She holds an MDiv from Azusa Pacific Seminary, an MA in music from the University of Southern California, and a PhD in higher education from Claremont Graduate University.

Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Organization Representative: John Witvliet

The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW), located at Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is an interdisciplinary study and ministry center that promotes the scholarly study of the theology, history, and practice of Christian worship and the renewal of worship in worshiping communities across North America and beyond. CICW is attentive to adaptations that congregations and other worshiping communities are making in light of COVID-related disruptions.

John Witvliet is Director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and Professor of Worship at Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary.

Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA)

Organization Representative: Father Thomas Gaunt, SJ

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) is a non-profit research center that has been conducting social scientific studies about and for the Catholic Church since 1964.  CARA’s mission has three aspects: to increase the Church’s self understanding, to serve the applied research needs of Church decision-makers, and to advance scholarly research on religion, particularly Catholicism.

Father Thomas Gaunt currently serves as the Executive Director of CARA. He has recently edited or co-authored Catholic Bishops in the United States: Church Leadership in the Third Millennium (2019) and Pathways to Religious Life (2018). Prior to coming to CARA, Father Gaunt served in Jesuit governance as the Socius/Executive Secretary of the Jesuit Conference-USA for nine years and the Formation and Studies Director of the Maryland and New York Jesuit Provinces for seven years. After ordination, he spent ten years in pastoral ministry in the Diocese of Charlotte. His PhD is in City Planning from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Center for Asian American Theology and Ministry at Fuller Seminary

Organization Representative: Dr. Daniel D. Lee

Fuller’s Asian American Center (AAC) exists to research, equip, and resource the Asian American Church. We train and support Asian American leaders and non-Asian Americans who will work with Asian Americans, engaging the particular spiritual and psychological concerns, needs, and challenges of our community. By Asian America we mean those of East, Southeast, and South Asian descent, as well as multiracial individuals and adoptees.

Dr. Daniel D. Lee is the academic dean of the Center for Asian American Theology and Ministry and assistant professor of theology and Asian American studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. An ordained Presbyterian minister, Daniel has served in a number of ministry contexts, including campus ministry, chaplaincy, immigrant church, pan-Asian ministry, and multi-ethnic churches. Dr. Lee is the author of Double Particularity: Karl Barth, Contextuality, and the Asian American Theology and of various book chapters and articles.

Center for the Study of African American Religious Life at NMAAHC

Organization Representative: Rev. Teddy R. Reeves

Through innovative scholarship, public programs, and collecting religious artifacts, the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture expands the ways religion is acknowledged and explored by our nation’s research and cultural institutions. 

Digitized as the #Digitaltheologian, Teddy R. Reeves’ work can be found at the intersections of entertainment, faith and spirituality, technology, arts, and culture. Currently, Teddy serves as a Curator of Religion at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Teddy’s current project “gOD-talk: a Black Millennials and Faith Conversation Series” is a web-based qualitative series that explores the dynamic ways Black millennials are engaging with faith in the 21st century. The program continues to garner critical acclaim, having received nine Telly Awards (2019 and 2020) and an Audience Honor award at the 2020 Shorty Awards.

Fuller Youth Institute

Organization Representative: Jake Mulder

The Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) equips diverse leaders and parents so faithful young people can change our world by turning academic research into practical resources. An innovative branch of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, FYI research has pioneered a new era of youth ministry practice and intergenerational discipleship, partnering with faculty Fuller to create tools which will change the way the world sees young people.

Jake Mulder is the Senior Director of Strategy at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and Fuller’s Executive Director of Leadership Formation Division. As Senior Director of Strategy at FYI, he oversees business administration, coordinates new research, develops resources and trainings, and helps the team think strategically. Jake holds a BA in Business Administration in Finance from Western Michigan University, an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary, and is currently pursuing a PhD at Fuller.

Interdenominational Theological Center

Organization Representative: Rev. Matthew Wesley Williams

The Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) is a Christian Africentric ecumenical consortium of seminaries and fellowships that educate students to commit to practicing justice and peace through a liberating and transforming spirituality to become leaders in the church and local/global communities.

Innovative Space for Asian American Christianity (ISAAC)

Organization Representative: Young Lee Hertig

ISAAC bridges the academy, church, and community to raise up the next generation of spiritual leaders for gender equality and equity in the church. The method of bridging all three institutions involves 3 Ts: 1) Transcribe; 2) Translate; 3) Transmit Asian American Christian Legacies.

Young Lee Hertig, an ordained PCUSA clergy member and scholar co-founded ISAAC/AAWOL (Asian American Women on Leadership) in 2006. In November 2011, the ISAAC board invited her to be the second Executive Director. Under her leadership, ISAAC has built multiple grant projects and platforms: 1) Asian American Equipping Symposium in partnership with Fuller (2009-2013); 2) Imagining A More Equal Pulpit (2017-2020); 3) RISE mentorship (2017-2020); 4) PastoraLab for Asian American Women Ministers (2020-2023), which includes several projects—a) Hermeneutical cohorts; b) Asian American Congregational Leadership Quantitative Research; c) Podcast, When Women Preach (more than 2,500 downloads). The final synthesis project, Field-Based Asian American Hermeneutics Curriculum will be published to replicate PastoraLab cohorts across the United States. Currently, the Eastcoast online PastoraLab cohort is being formed. The publication includes ISAAC’s annual journal, ChristianityNext, A Biblical Study Guide for Equal Pulpits, edited by Young Lee Hertig and forwarded by Edwin David Aponte, which was released on March 11, 2022 by Cascade. Young Lee is also the author of The Tao of Asian American Belonging: A Yinist Spirituality (Orbis Books, 2019).

Lake Institute on Faith & Giving

Organization Representative: Rev. Dr. David King

Lake Institute on Faith & Giving fosters a deeper understanding of the dynamic relationship between faith and giving, through research, education, and public conversation. Through quantitative and qualitative research, Lake Institute has sought to explore how congregations receive, manage, and spend resources.

As the economic models of congregations and other faith-based nonprofits evolve as a result of changing practices before and after the pandemic, Lake Institute seeks to share these trends and help in equipping religious leaders to be ready to respond.

David P. King is the Karen Lake Buttrey Director of Lake Institute on Faith & Giving as well as Associate Professor of Philanthropic Studies within the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. He arrived at IUPUI in 2014 after serving as Assistant Professor of Christian History at Memphis Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. As an American religious historian, his research interests broadly include exploring the practices of twentieth and twenty-first century American and global faith communities as well as more specifically investigating how the religious identity of faith-based nonprofits shapes their motivations, rhetoric, and practice. He is passionate about research and teaching but as an ordained minister having served local churches and national faith-based organizations, he is also fueled by facilitating conversations with faith leaders, donors, and fundraisers (of all generations) around the intersections of faith and giving. He routinely teaches leaders around the country through Lake Institute’s executive training courses as well as through speaking at universities, professional conferences, and religious gatherings.

Network for New Media, Religion & Digital Culture Studies

Organization Representative: Dr. Heidi A Campbell

The Network for New Media, Religion & Digital Culture Studies began as an online resource center for researchers and students interested in investigating the intersection of emerging technologies in religion and digital culture. The network works as a hub connecting scholars working in the area and runs a variety of research initiatives related to the study of Digital Religion.

Heidi A Campbell is a Professor of Communication and a Presidential Impact Fellow at Texas A&M University. She is director of the Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies, and considered one of the founders of the study of Digital Religion. Her research focuses on how Christian, Jewish & Muslim groups negotiate their use and understandings of technology. She has published over 100 articles and books on Digital Religion including Digital Religion (2013), Networked Theology (2016), Digital Creatives and the Rethinking of Religious Authority (2020) and Ecclesiology for a Digital Church (forthcoming 2021).

Partners for Sacred Places

Organization Representative: The Rev. Dr. Rochelle A. (Shelly) Stackhouse

Partners for Sacred Places, founded in 1989, is the only national, non-sectarian, nonprofit organization focused on building the capacity of congregations of historic sacred places to better serve their communities as anchor institutions, nurturing transformation, and shaping vibrant, creative communities. As historic places of worship face ever greater challenges from diminishing membership and resources, Partners has responded with an ever growing family of tools and services, developed from the perspective that sacred places are both houses of worship and civic assets. Services include research into the civic value of sacred places, capacity building training and support for congregations and others with older religious properties, and grants.

The Rev. Dr. Rochelle A. (Shelly) Stackhouse was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 1982. A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, she has served churches of varying sizes as Senior, Solo, Interim and Transitional Pastor in Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. She received a PhD from Drew University in Liturgical Studies and has taught at numerous seminaries, most recently Yale and Lexington. She and her husband, P. Gavin Ferriby, are the parents of three adult children and three demanding cats.

The Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Organization Representative: Tim Snyder

Founded in 2003 at Wesley Theological Seminary, The Lewis Center for Church Leadership produces resources and research for effective leadership in ministry. In 2019, The Lewis Center was awarded a grant by the Lilly Endowment to embark on a three-year study of the religious workforce in the United States. The Religious Workforce Project includes a qualitative study of fifty congregations in the Washington, DC metro area and a meta-analysis study of denominational trend data and existing national survey data related to the demographics of the religious workforce.

Tim Snyder is Visiting Assistant Professor of Practical Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary where he is a senior researcher at The Lewis Center for Church Leadership and principal investigator of the Religious Workforce Project.

Thriving Congregations Initiative Coordination Program at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity

Organization Representative: Kelly Ryan

Thriving Congregations is a national initiative funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. to support institutions that want to help congregations to explore and understand their rapidly changing social and cultural contexts; gain greater clarity about their mission and values; and draw on Christian practices from their theological and ecclesial traditions to adapt their ministries to the demands of their changing contexts. Each of the 115 grantees has up to $1 million to spend over three to five years to serve congregations and explore this question: What does it look like for congregations to thrive? Leadership Education at Duke Divinity supports and networks these grantees and shares what they are learning.

Kelly became the director of the Thriving Congregations Coordination Program in February 2020. Prior to that, she spent 12 years as senior director of communications for Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, overseeing its online learning resource Faith & Leadership.

Wheaton College Billy Graham Center Research Institute

Organization Representative: Andrew MacDonald

The Wheaton College Billy Graham Center Research Institute bridges theory and practice, conducting and publishing credible research and thoughtful analysis which encourages innovation and effectiveness in evangelism and mission through the Church.

Andrew MacDonald is the Associate Director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center Research Institute and a PhD Candidate in Historical Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.