Characteristics of U.S. Congregations, by faith group – part 1 (2008/2009)

Catholic
Churches
Mainline
Protestant Churches
Conservative
Protestant
Churches
All
Congregations
Facilities:
Primary worship service held in a church, synagogue, or temple
98%
98%
100%
98%
Congregation or denomination owns building
98%
95%
100%
97%
Facilities used/rented by community groups at least weekly
18%
62%
30%
46%

Catholic
Churches
Mainline
Protestant Churches
Conservative
Protestant
Churches
All
Congregations
Affiliation:
Affiliated with denomination, convention, or
association of congregations
93%
96%
82%
92%

Catholic
Churches
Mainline
Protestant Churches
Conservative
Protestant
Churches
All
Congregations
Provide religious education classes:
For children (under age 12)
100%
91%
100%
95%
For youth (ages 12-18)
86%
86%
90%
87%
For adults
70%
87%
99%
88%

Catholic
Churches
Mainline
Protestant Churches
Conservative
Protestant
Churches
All
Congregations
Technology:
Use internet to communicate with worshiperss
85%
76%
73%
77%
Use email to communicate with worshipers
62%
83%
64%
74%

Catholic
Churches
Mainline
Protestant Churches
Conservative
Protestant
Churches
All
Congregations
Political orientation of congregation:
On conservative side
36%
41%
74%
51%
In the middle
60%
37%
15%
33%
On liberal side
4%
22%
11%
16%

Catholic
Churches
Mainline
Protestant Churches
Conservative
Protestant
Churches
All
Congregations
Theological orientation of congregation:
On conservative side
38%
34%
83%
48%
In the middle
49%
38%
13%
32%
On liberal side
13%
29%
4%
20%

Catholic
Churches
Mainline
Protestant Churches
Conservative
Protestant
Churches
All
Congregations
Financial situation:
Increasing financial base
8%
18%
5%
12%
Stable financial base
65%
49%
67%
57%
Declining financial base or seriously threatened
27%
33%
28%
30%

Characteristics of U.S. Congregations, by faith group – part 2 (2008/2009)
All figures are medians.

Catholic
Churches
Mainline
Protestant Churches
Conservative
Protestant
Churches
All
Congregations
Age:
Year congregation was founded (median)
1916
1902
1943
1914

Catholic
Churches
Mainline
Protestant Churches
Conservative
Protestant
Churches
All
Congregations
Size:
Approximate seating capacity where worship is held (median)
468
225
200
244
Average weekly worship attendance, 2007 (year before survery)
638
90
85
103
Total number of people (children and adults) participating (median)
831
120
117
130
Total number of children participating (median)
301
26
37
37

Catholic
Churches
Mainline
Protestant Churches
Conservative
Protestant
Churches
All
Congregations
Religious education classes:
Number of children (<12) participating (median)
107
10
15
15
Number of youth (12-18) participating (median)
59
7
7
8
Number of adults participating (median)
30
20
20
20

Catholic
Churches
Mainline
Protestant Churches
Conservative
Protestant
Churches
All
Congregations
Worship services:
Number of worship services offered each week
9
1
2
2

Catholic
Churches
Mainline
Protestant Churches
Conservative
Protestant
Churches
All
Congregations
Strictness:
Mean number of prohibitions reported (Note 1.)
1.4
.5
2.4
1.2

Catholic
Churches
Mainline
Protestant Churches
Conservative
Protestant
Churches
All
Congregations
Congregational programs:
Mean number of outreach activities reported (Note 2.)
4.0
7.0
7.0
6.9
Mean number of community services reported (Note 3.)
8.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
Note 1. Seven possible prohibitions: homosexual behavior; unmarried adults living together; drinking alcohol; gambling; prohibitions against members smoking; how much money people give to the congregation; and what people eat (listed here in order from most often prohibited to least often prohibited).

Note 2. 15 possible outreach activities: encouraged people to invite others, established or maintained a website; letters sent to visitors, mailing flyers or newsletters, neighborhood activity, newspaper/magazine ads, worship or public event to bring people in, telephoning visitors, telephone book ads,  visiting visitors, recruitment committee, contact people new to the area, email visitors, radio/TV ads, community survey (listed here in order from most common to least common overall).

Note 3. 25 possible community services: emergency relief, counseling/support groups, other social/recreational activities, transportation to bring people to worship, other youth programs, arts/music activities, other senior programs (not housing), health-related programs, other welfare/service activities, hobby and craft groups, political/justice work, sports, abuse/recovery programs, voter registration or education, prison ministry, housing for others (not seniors),  programs for college students, care for people with disabilities, community organizing, financial literacy, immigrant support services, animal welfare or environmental activities, HIV/AIDS services, housing for seniors, activities for the unemployed (listed here in order from most common to least common overall).