Who Lives Here? Unearthing Demographic Data

JMIt’s hard to plan when you don’t have good information. This is especially true when you want to develop a new direction for your ministry or figure out how to connect with those in your neighborhood. Who lives in your targeted ministry area? What does your congregation look like compared to other congregations in your region? In America? Finding answers can be daunting. Thankfully, the ARDA (Association of Religious Data Archives) already has the answer to these questions and more.

You are encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet to this lunch program so that you can experience first-hand how to dig up the wealth of high-quality data available at www.thearda.com. Access to The ARDA is free.

Religious sociologist Jennifer McClure will introduce you to the website of The Association of Religion Data Archives. She will show you how to find and use community research, congregation zip-code mapping, trends, statistics and behaviors to benefit your ministry development and planning.


You will learn how to find answers to these questions on the ARDA website:

  • What does my community look like?
  • What do Americans believe and how do they behave?
  • How does my congregation/religious tradition compare to others?
  • Where can I find data on religion around the world?
  • What religion research is in the news?

The ARDA is based in the department of sociology at Pennsylvania State University. It provides access to high-quality data on religion in the US and abroad. Leaders at the ARDA want to make their data more available to congregations.

This event is open to individuals and teams from Indiana congregations. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet. This workshop is 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Central time) Thursday, September 21, 2017 in Evansville. The cost is $10 per person. This lunch includes conversation and workshop materials. Workshops limited to Indiana congregations.

How can you maximize your learning in this workshop and others? Check out this Center for Congregations article, "Getting the Most from an Education Event."