What we do
The Christian Research Association has a proven track record of undertaking social research for churches, denominations, religious groups and other community organisations. Since 1985, we have been involved in research projects both large and small. Some have been funded by government grants, while others have been commissioned by churches, denominational groups or community organisations. We have, over many years, also worked collaboratively with groups to carry out funded research to meet specific needs.
There are several aspects to the Christian Research Association’s work:
- Major research projects, often using national surveys, as determined by the Board. For example, in the early 2000’s, a major project investigated how young people put their lives together and the role that religion and/or spirituality has in that process. A second round of studies of the spirituality of young people, using surveys, was initiated some years later, and we are now into a third round of surveys.
- Contract research for individual churches, schools, denominational bodies, welfare groups, and other church-related organisations.
- Reports for local areas using the latest Census data plus data from other social science surveys and sources. We produce reports which include data and interpretation for churches, schools, welfare and other organisations for any geographical area in Australia. After each Census, we usually produce a publication based on Census data for every Christian denomination and religious group in Australia.
- Overview of research on religion and church-life in Australia, primarily through Pointers, a quarterly bulletin reporting on research and other information relevant to religion and church-life in Australia and overseas.
Having the capacity to call on researchers through our pool of Accredited Researchers means we can undertake a variety of projects using experienced social science professionals at a relatively low cost.
Some research projects we have recently undertaken include:
- A two-stage community engagement project for a suburban Catholic parish, which sought to understand how the local community was engaging with the parish’s mission. The project involved the Christian Research Association designing and carrying out a customised survey and undertaking focus groups.
- A suburban Protestant church sought to understand the current and future needs of the community in its immediate local government area by commissioning the Christian Research Association to undertake an analysis of official public data and statistics, and then carrying out a survey of its church community.
- The Christian Research Association was commissioned to undertake a comprehensive literature and research review to examine recent empirical studies that bear on Christian belief and practice among Australian teenagers.
- As part of a broader data gathering process, the Christian Research Association was contracted to undertake a series of focus groups by a charitable organisation to investigate people’s attitudes and experiences of homelessness in a Victorian local government area.
Presentations by Experienced Researchers
Researchers of the Christian Research Association are regularly called upon to present research findings at national or international conferences and events. We also present and disseminate research findings or deliver presentations on research methods to smaller audiences, such as at staff professional development days, for church or religious leaders, for secondary or university students, or at significant denominational gatherings. In fact, for three and a half decades, Christian Research Association staff have presented at hundreds of events.
Human Research Ethics Committee
The Christian Research Association also operates its own Human Research Ethics Committee, which most sociological investigations require clearance from to ensure ethical conduct of research.
To further discuss the work of the Christian Research Association or to understand how we can assist your organisation with a potential research project, please contact our Research Coordinator.