NEWS and NOTES
Vol. I No. 1
Welcome to the inaugural edition of News and Notes from Hartford Institute for Religion Research, Hartford Seminary!
Recent data released from the Institute reveal that nondenominational churches may not look like we had assumed. The information on 133 independent Christian congregations surveyed in the Faith Communities Today project and that from an additional 73 similar congregations in the Organizing Religious Work project show nondenominational churches to be older and more mainstream, middle class than expected. Between 15 and 30% of these churches were founded prior to 1950. Roughly 45% of churches in these samples say they have few or no one in the membership that is rich (over $70K income) or poor (under $20K income). These nondenominational churches are also not as independent as one would think, nearly 50% claim to belong to a Network or Association of churches. To read more about these studies visit our section on nondenominational congregations.
Ever wish you had a shortcut to U.S. religion facts and figures? We are diligently working on a new page called "Fast Facts About Religion in the United States" and hope to be bringing that to you soon. Until then, here are a few of our favorite resources.
The U.S. Census Bureau offers a year 2000 statistical abstract for the United States in .pdf format. The last two pages of this report contain a nice summary of U.S. religious data.
Often we get asked about the religious makeup of particular counties or cities in the United States. When we do we turn to the Churches and Church Membership book by the Glenmary Research Center. The American Religion Data Archive allows you to access that information directly for yourself. You will find the information on their site in the File Directory under Aggregate Data Files of congregations.
Another question we often get is for the numbers of specific religious groups around the world. Although we are unsure if accurate data really exists, the one site with numbers for every religion is adherents.com. You may not find this site the easiest to use but you can discover a lot of helpful information.
WHAT'S NEW ON OUR SITE:
Read our latest quick question about the popularity of online religions.
New research on Nondenominational Congregations has just been released.
We've enhanced our section on designing church web sites to include more in-depth information on making your web presence known to the world.