Faith Communities Today
During the year 2000, at the same time as the national census, national religious organizations began to conduct a massive survey of congregations from Maine to Hawaii. The Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America asked the Institute of Church Ministry at Andrews University to conduct the Adventist portion of the survey.
Under the title Faith Communities Today (FACT), the collaborating organizations are reviewing the findings, studying the implications, and developing ways for the information to help their local congregations. The Adventist Church has asked the Center for Creative Ministry to disseminate the information from the Adventist survey.
Roger Dudley is the research director for the Adventist survey. Monte Sahlin is the key analyst and spokesman for the Adventist study. Paul Richardson is project coordinator. Carmen Rusu is project assistant.
The Hartford Institute for Religion Research at Hartford Seminary, in Hartford, Connecticut, initiated the Faith Communities Today study, bringing together a collaborative research project with more than 40 denominations and faith groups. Co-directors of the project are Carl S. Dudley, professor of church and community at Hartford Seminary, and David A. Roozen, director of the institute and professor of religion and society at Hartford Seminary. Funding was provided by the Lilly Endowment and the participating faith groups.
Putting the findings to work ...
The findings are being distributed in interfaith settings and across denominations, during national meetings and through many other means. Those who have worked together in FACT are convinced that their studies will demonstrate that congregations are spiritual centers that no only express diverse faiths, but also contribute in significant ways to the well-being of local communities.
Now that the research has been completed, the focus for the next several years will be on analysis and publications designed to make the data helpful to local congregations.
Here's how FACT can help ...
Local churches are strengthened when leaders and members understand their situation and create strategies to meet local needs. Working with Adventist survey, the Center for Creative Ministry is developing tools designed to assist local leaders. These tools will help Adventist congregations assess the strengths and challenges of their local church.
Catalog of Leadership Tools (coming soon)
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