What is “Christian” Evaluation and Research?
In Christian ministry, we are often starting new programs or revising old programs based on what we see working or not working. The goal of Christian E.A.R.S. is to work with you to systematically collect and analyze data to help you make the best decisions for your ministry team or organization. Evaluations also have the added benefit of providing concrete data for you to show on grant applications or while advocating for more resources for a specific program. As a researcher/evaluator with one foot in the world of research, statistics, and theory and the other in the world of ministry, I have been working since 2013 to make the world of research accessible and meaningful to my ministry worker collaborators and stakeholders. Whether you have years of experience using data to influence your ministry’s work or this is the first time you have considered hiring a researcher, I promise you are in good hands.
What does evaluation entail?
Each Christian E.A.R.S. evaluation is customized to fit the specific needs of your organization. Evaluations can provide extremely useful information to help you decide where to focus your ministry’s energies based on the needs of your community, refine a program based on feedback from participants, or determine where your organization is strong and where it needs to grow. Most clients require a combination of:
- Facilitating the creation and articulation of goals, objectives, and measurable outcomes
- Determining an evaluation plan
- Creating evaluation tools and methods of data collection
- Collecting data (survey, interviews, focus groups, etc.)
- Evaluation and research training for staff and volunteers
- Analyzing data
- Writing a summary evaluation report with recommendations
- Writing audience specific summary reports (e.g. funders, community members, trustees)
- Facilitating “What’s Next?” workshops for management and staff
What does research entail?
Christian E.A.R.S. offers expertise in several research methodologies such as qualitative (interviews and focus groups), quantitative (surveys and statistical analysis of existing data) and social network analysis (surveys and interviews) so we can select the methodology that best suits the question you wish to answer.
Do you have a burning question you want to answer through research? Here are just a few questions a research partnership can help you answer.
- Do you want to see what the people in the pews think about certain Church teachings? Let’s run a focus group and ask them.
- Are you curious what members of your local geographical community think about religion? Let’s develop a survey and get their opinions.
- Are you curious how members of your church create community around new members? Let’s run a social network analysis study and see where your community is creating strong bonds and where they can be strengthened.
- Are you curious about how the religious upbringing of those you serve influences their interactions with your materials or events? Let’s put together some interviews to find out.