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Recent research by others

The ATS research team and Research and Data Advisory Committee curate research by scholars in theological education and other fields that relate to the interests of member schools. The links listed are proven centers and multi-year projects. To supplement this list, the "Featured Resources" include other reports and studies that may be of interest.

Research organizations and projects

Auburn Reports (Auburn Theological Seminary Center for the Study of Theological Education)—a series showcasing data and perspectives focused on institutional leadership, teaching and learning, students and graduates, student debt, financing of theological schools, and the relationship between theological education and the public
Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR)
—a collective of more than 100 scholars of religion whose work includes the Program in Religion and Public Health (PRPH)
Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA)—a national, non-profit research center, affiliated with Georgetown University, that conducts social scientific studies about the Catholic Church
Faith Communities Todaya series of ongoing research surveys and practical reports about congregational life, conducted and published by the Cooperative Congregations Studies Partnership
Flourishing in Ministry
—a comprehensive, long-term study of the wellbeing of clergy and others in ministry with data on more than 15,000 clergy, including in-depth interviews with hundreds of pastors
Hartford Institute for Religion Research
—34 years worth of rigorous, policy-relevant research that functions as an important bridge between the scholarly community and the practice of faith
Lake Institute on Faith and Giving—in-house research and peer-reviewed faculty studies focused on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector to identify emerging trends, challenge conventional wisdom, and provide valuable insights
National Congregations Study—information about worship, programs, staffing, and other characteristics (1998, 2006, 2012) based on in-depth interviews of congregational leaders from a representative sample of America's churches, synagogues, mosques and other local places of worship
Studying Congregations—a collaborative project of leading scholars in the fields of sociology of religion, history, and practical theology, hosted by the Center for Practical Theology at Boston University
US Religion Census—a census of the number of churches, full members, adherents, and attendees for each of 236 faith groups, reported by county, from 1952 to 2010

Religious data and polling organizations

Association of Religious Data Archives (ARDA)—a wealth of data about communities, congregations, religious groups, and religion timelines, with six tools of particular interest to theological schools
Barna—custom research and polling for organizations with an interest in how faith influences culture
Gallup
—"analytics and advice about everything that matters"
Lifeway Research
—assessments and custom research for church leaders, investigating topics such as church practices, measured satisfaction, and readiness for church planting
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
—the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations
Pew Research Center—a nonpartisan fact tank that conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis, and other data-driven social science research about current issues, attitudes, and trends
Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI)—a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization conducting public opinion research based on probability sampling

Find out more

Institutional and student data
Recent ATS research on special topics in theological education
New research opportunities--datasets, research questions, and tools for accessing