Faith Communities Today
New Fact Information
A theological or doctrinal study program is much more likely to be offered in Adventist churches than in most congregations of other faiths.
One in four Adventist churches offer some kind of theological or doctrinal study other than Sabbath School throughout the year, while only 15% of all faiths do so, and Adventist churches are twice as likely as all faiths in America to provide such a program during a season or seasons of the year.
These data from Faith Communities Today (FACT), the largest survey of local religious groups in American history, clearly demonstrate how central doctrine is in the life of Adventist congregations. Only one in four Adventist churches offers no doctrinal study other than Sabbath School, while fully a third of the total sample of all faiths does not.
Teaching theology or doctrine is one of the strengths of the Adventist Church. Other studies show that most people who join the Adventist Church from a different religious background do so in large part because of the strong, clear doctrinal teaching offered by Adventists. A wide range of curriculum resources is published by various resource centers and publishing houses of the denomination to support this type of program with significant diversity in approach, learning style, language and level of education.
1. Does our local church provide a theological or doctrinal study group or class other than Sabbath School each week? Is this provided throughout the year or just for a period of a few weeks as a special seminar once or twice a year?
2. How many people are attending doctrinal study groups or classes each week? What percentage of these are not members?
3. Are we providing a sufficient range of different approaches and types of doctrinal study to best reach the various kinds of people in our congregation and in the community?
New FACT Information, Center for Creative Ministry