Cooperative Congregational Study Partnership (CCSP). In an unprecedented project, over 30 denominations in the United States have joined forces to construct a common questionnaire and survey congregations with the purposes of discovering how to strengthen congregational life and to make congregations a force in American society. The project is headed by the Hartford Seminary Institute for Religion Research and financed by a major grant from the Lilly Foundation and contributions from contributing denominations. The original research was conducted in 2000, with smaller studies in 2005 and 2008. A major research project is being conducted in 2010 to assess the changes over ten years. ICM has collected the data for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America each wave, mailing surveys to 1000 Adventist congregations in 2010. While the Adventist data will be merged with that of the other partners to create a national data file, it will also be reported on separately for comparison with the overall data. The challenge is to produce materials that will aid congregations in strengthening their body life and their outreach. Both print and internet materials will be produced. The dissemination phase of this project is released under the label Faith Communities Today (FACT).
U.S. Study of Congregational Life. The NAD in cooperation with the Presbyterian Church in the USA and several other denominations have joined in a study of individual congregants. While the CCSP surveyed a key informant for each congregation, the USSCL surveys individual members. This study has been funded by grants from the Lilly Foundation and the NAD. Nearly a hundred Adventist congregations participated in 2001. A second wave was conducted in 2008. Each participating congregation receives a profile of the local membership. ICM has the total Adventist data set and is able to compare its findings with the aggregate data.
Evaluation of General Conference Strategic Plans. The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists voted a world wide strategic plan at its Annual Executive Meeting. The plan covered Expected Results, Forecasting, and a SWOT Analysis for the quinquenium stretching to 2005. ICM was commissioned to collect the data to evaluate this plan in 2001. This involved collecting data from all union conferences in the world church. Then the study was replicated with some additional material in 2006 looking forward to 2010.
Member surveys. Approximately every three years ICM surveys the members of several hundred congregations in the North American Division selected to be representative as to size, ethnicity, and geographical region. The questionnaire regularly asks items about the personal ministries of the members and standard demographic questions. The various departments of the Division each have a chance to insert a few questions. Each year one special subject is featured. Past examples have been worship preferences, stewardship, communication, and Net satellite evangelism.
Dissemination. ICM is constantly trying to make the results of its research useful. This includes research reports, articles in various denominational journals, articles in scholarly journals, presentations at gatherings such as the North American Ministries Convention, seminars in churches, conference training events, and cooperation with the NAD Office of Research and Information.