Continuity and change in American Congregations: Introducing the second wave of the national congregations study
The second wave of the National Congregations Study (NCS-II) was conducted in 2006-07. The 2006 General Social Survey asked respondents who attend religious services to name their religious congregation. This new nationally representative cross-section of congregations was supplemented with a randomly selected sample of congregations who participated in the 1998 NCS. Data about these congregations was collected via a 45-minute interview with one key informant from 1,506 congregations. Information was gathered about multiple aspects of congregations' social composition, structure, activities, and programming. Approximately 60 percent of the NCS-II questionnaire replicates items from 1998. Each congregation was geocoded, and data from the 2000 United States census have been appended. This article describes NCS-II methodology, reports results from many of the variables measured in both waves, and highlights trends involving congregational use of computer technology, worship styles, clergy age, and the demographic composition of congregations and their neighborhoods.
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