In April of 2001 the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Research Services office conducted the initial U.S. Congregational Life Survey. As part of that study at least 1.2 million worshipers and 12,000 congregations across three continents were surveyed to provide a portrait on congregational life in four dimensions: spirituality and faith, congregational activities, community involvement, and their vision for the future. Their findings were published in the first edition of A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations. Now, with the completion of the 2008 U.S. Congregational Life Survey, the authors have created a new and expanded edition of this invaluable reference. It has been revised to reflect new findings and includes updated statistics, tables, and cartoons, along with a completely new chapter describing significant changes in congregational life between the 2001 and 2008 surveys. It also offers new content for the Myth Trap and Guidelines features in each chapter and provides chapter summaries focusing on the implications of the 2008 survey’s findings.
“Congregations are moving targets in contemporary America. Up-to-date research is essential in understanding the evolving nature of church life. Woolever and Bruce provide a superb survey of the shifting landscape in this new edition of their "Field Guide." This is as good as it gets—solid trend research on thousands of church attendees coupled with sensitive, practical interpretation. A must read for anyone wanting to understand and adapt to today's changing religious context.”—Scott Thumma, Hartford Institute for Religion Research