In the quantitative component of this project, we are interested in learning more about the characteristics of pastors who lead congregations and how these relate to the attributes of the congregations they serve. We are exploring the demographic characteristics and employment arrangements of these pastors, and how these are related to changes in church size, membership demographics, finances, personnel expenditures, and more. To do this, we are analyzing denominational data provided to us by leaders in several Christian denominations, as well as publicly available data from other national research projects. We will examine other workforce categories to the extent that data are available.

Project Dashboard

Quantitative Study Percentage Completion

Quantitative Research
Denominational data partnerships
Data re-coding


  • Fall 2019. ELCA joins UMC as our first two denominational partners.
  • Summer 2020. Preliminary research reports sent to denominations. 
  • Fall 2020. RWP receives 20-year trend data from denominations. 
  • October 2021. RWP reports on UMC congregations with multiple pastors.
  • December 2021. Data cleaning and re-coding complete.
  • Spring 2022. Compiling datasets by relevant topics and available denominational and national survey sources.
  • Summer 2022. Presentation of two preliminary research reports for review by the Advisory Group.
  • Fall 2022. Preliminary research reports sent to reviewers for feedback.
  • Winter 2023. Preparing research reports for posting on website and for further review.