Faith Communities Today

Background to the Faith Communities Today Survey

In the spring of 2000, more than forty faith groups participated in the first Faith Communities Today (FACT) survey. This was the largest survey of congregations ever conducted, and was the most inclusive, denominationally sanctioned program of interfaith cooperation in United States' history. The participating faith groups developed a core questionnaire of more than 200 questions covering six areas of church life. 500 of our Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations (almost 50%) responded.

An interactive workbook provided the first opportunity for individuals and congregations from differing faith groups to compare their actual practices with those of differing faith traditions.

The Cooperative Congregational Studies Project (CCSP) was formed in 2003 to continue the cooperative approach to interfaith research into congregational life modeled by the 2000 FACT survey. In the spring of 2005, 16 of our congregations were randomly selected to be included in a national interfaith survey conducted by CCSP. For more information and analysis on church growth, from this interfaith survey in the United States, see the article by David A. Roozen, Director of the Cooperative Congregational Studies Project and Professor of Religion and Society at Hartford Seminary. Also see Facts on Growth by C. Kirk Hadaway, Director of Research at the Episcopal Church Center in New York.

In October of 2005, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) contracted with Calvin College to use the 2005 FACT questionnaire (PDF, 9 pages) to conduct a survey of all UUA congregations. The 2005 FACT survey was distributed electronically to all UU congregations for which we had valid email addresses and by regular mail for others. The FACT-2005 survey information (PDF, 36 pages) has been combined with data from the UUA Directory and responses to the FACT-2000 survey. To the extent that the FACT 2000 and 2005 survey questions were duplicated, we have longitudinal data regarding actual congregational practices. The UUA directory data allow us to make comparisons based on congregation size and growth/decline patterns.

See the Reports

For more information on these reports and the survey please contact the UUA Growth Services Program Manager.