Presentation Title

P-09 The Relationship between Volunteering and Church Attendance and Retention among Seventh-day Adventist Faculty and Staff: Preliminary Findings

Presenter Status

Department of Social Work

Second Presenter Status

Department of Social Work

Third Presenter Status

MSW Candidate, Department of Social Work

Fourth Presenter Status

Department of Political Science

Location

Buller Hallway

Start Date

1-11-2013 1:30 PM

End Date

1-11-2013 3:00 PM

Presentation Abstract

Volunteering in church and community service projects appears to be a contributing factor in church retention. Research on church attendance suggests that social networks, rather than beliefs, are a primary motivator in volunteering both within and outside of the church (Becker & Dhingra, 2001). Similarly, church attendance may influence volunteering by fostering a sense of community (Beck & Park, 2000). However, the relationship between church retention and volunteering is not well understood, particularly within the SDA church. In 2012, researchers collected survey data from 530 SDA faculty and staff at nine SDA colleges and universities across the U.S. One of the study’s purposes was to explore the relationship between personal religious practices and levels of church and community volunteering. Findings show that 60% of respondents worked on a community project in the past year, with 54% saying they had volunteered for church work monthly or more frequently. Further, as church attendance, prayer and Bible study increased, so too did volunteering. Implications for church attendance and retention will be presented.

Acknowledgments

Presented by Jan Wrenn, Andrews University

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Nov 1st, 1:30 PM Nov 1st, 3:00 PM

P-09 The Relationship between Volunteering and Church Attendance and Retention among Seventh-day Adventist Faculty and Staff: Preliminary Findings

Buller Hallway

Volunteering in church and community service projects appears to be a contributing factor in church retention. Research on church attendance suggests that social networks, rather than beliefs, are a primary motivator in volunteering both within and outside of the church (Becker & Dhingra, 2001). Similarly, church attendance may influence volunteering by fostering a sense of community (Beck & Park, 2000). However, the relationship between church retention and volunteering is not well understood, particularly within the SDA church. In 2012, researchers collected survey data from 530 SDA faculty and staff at nine SDA colleges and universities across the U.S. One of the study’s purposes was to explore the relationship between personal religious practices and levels of church and community volunteering. Findings show that 60% of respondents worked on a community project in the past year, with 54% saying they had volunteered for church work monthly or more frequently. Further, as church attendance, prayer and Bible study increased, so too did volunteering. Implications for church attendance and retention will be presented.