The Global Anabaptist Profile, a joint effort of the Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism and Mennonite World Conference, provides a snapshot of the diversity of MWC member churches and invites them into conversation on questions of faith and practice.
Structured around the Mennonite World Conference’s “Shared Convictions,” the data gathered by the Global Anabaptist Profile survey provides church leaders with basic demographic information in addition to more detailed information on how believers live out their commitment to be followers of Jesus Christ in their particular contexts.
Twenty-five groups were randomly selected to participate in the study, with proportionate representation from the five geographic regions of MWC. Church leaders from each group then appointed a research associate to conduct the survey—translated into 26 different languages—with a representative sample of congregations. In their work, research associates faced an array of challenges, from reaching remote congregations to adapting survey implementation methods for illiterate church members.
Two international consultations marked the initiation and completion of the data-collection portion of the project. Research associates first met together on July 29-August 2, 2013, to receive basic training in research methods and to critique and revise the survey.
Following completion of the survey, research associates and church leaders gathered for a second consultation on July 26-30, 2015, to present their findings and compare results. Conrad Kanagy, professor of sociology at Elizabethtown College, processed and formatted the data prior to the consultation.
Although the process of interpreting the survey results has only begun, the data collected suggests that while there is great diversity among MWC member churches, they do share beliefs and practices in common. When the data is complete, GAP will release a summary of the aggregate results as well as regional comparisons. The full data will also be made available to the MWC Executive Committee.