National Congregations Study

The National Congregations Study – Wave III (NCS-III), sponsored by the Lilly Endowment, and carried out by NORC at the University of Chicago, and Principal Investigator Mark Chaves at Duke University, aims to document the work, programs, and activities of America’s religious congregations. The information collected is used by scholars, religious leaders, policy makers, and students to better understand the activities, characteristics, and social composition of all types of religious congregations and better meet their changing needs.

The National Congregations Study is the first ever high quality survey of a nationally representative sample of congregations. It yielded many articles as well as the most recent book published by the Principal Investigator, Congregations in America (Harvard University Press, 2004). The second wave of the study, conducted in 2006-2007, was a follow-up to the first National Congregations Study, which was conducted in 1998. The Wave II sample consisted of congregations named in the General Social Survey (GSS) 2006 interviews, as well as a sub-sample of congregations identified during Wave I.

NORC conducted the survey for both Wave I and Wave II of the study and is currently conducting Wave III. The third wave of the study examines stability and change in congregations’ core characteristics and activities, including their social composition, size, social service involvement, political activity, connections with other religious and secular organizations, and many other things. The Wave III sample consists of congregations named in the General Social Survey (GSS) 2012 interviews.


News The New York Times: The National Congregations Study gives insight into religious leaders and their attitudes More
Posted: 9.19.2014 1:20PM

Project Director

Jodie Daquilanea
(312) 325-2515

Principal Investigator

Dr. Mark Chaves
(919) 660-5783

Current Team

Sandra Pitzer, Field Production Manager
(888) 493-5957

Donna Rader, Field Manager
(877) 368-6579