Highlights from American Culture & Faith Institute’s
Worldview Measurement Project

Research Summary from George Barna, February 2017

Worldview survey

  • Biggest national worldview survey ever conducted, by American Culture & Faith Institute (a division of United in Purpose), in February 2017:
    • 1,000 interviews with adults 18+ nationally
    • 4,500 interviews with SAGE Cons (Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Christian Conservatives)
    • 500 interviews with theologically conservative Pastors of Protestant churches
    • 40 worldview questions: 20 regarding beliefs, 20 regarding behavior
    • 3 separate scores created: Biblical Belief Score (BBF), Biblical Behavior Score (BBV), Integrated Disciple Score (IDS)

How the ACFI Worldview Measurement Project differs from other studies:

  • Measures both belief and behavior
  • Incorporates a much larger number of questions and therefore more data
  • Engages three distinct populations in the research: aggregate adult population, SAGE Cons, and theologically conservative Protestant pastors
  • Provides three unique scores: Integrated Disciple Score, Biblical Belief Score, Biblical Behavior Score
  • Measures biblical worldview without the assumption that someone must have a “perfect” score to possess a biblical worldview
  • This is the first survey in this project, establishing a benchmark that will be tracked each year in February

Biblical Belief Score (BBF)

  • Nationally, the scores were as follows:
    • 10% have strong biblical beliefs (16 or more of the 20 items answered biblically)
    • 24% have moderate biblical beliefs (9 to 15 of the 20 items answered biblically)
    • 35% have below average biblical beliefs (4 to 8 of the 20 items answered biblically)
    • 31% have minimal biblical beliefs (3 or less of the 20 items answered biblically)

Biblical Behavior Score (BBV)

  • 18% have strong biblical behavior (16 or more of the 20 items answered biblically)
  • 38% have moderate biblical behavior (9 to 15 of the 20 items answered biblically)
  • 35% have below average biblical behavior (4 to 8 of the 20 items answered biblically)
  • 9% have minimal biblical behavior (3 or less of the 20 items answered biblically)

Integrated Disciple Score (IDS)

  • 10% have strong biblical beliefs and behavior (32 or more of the 40 items answered biblically)
  • 35% have moderate biblical beliefs and behavior (17 to 31 of the 40 items answered biblically)
  • 43% have below average biblical beliefs and behavior (7 to 16 of the 40 items answered biblically)
  • 11% have minimal biblical beliefs and behavior (6 or less of the 40 items answered biblically)

Observations from the data:

  • Of the 20 belief measures in the survey, a majority of Americans had a biblical perspective for just one of the measures (55% said it is extremely or very important for them to personally develop a deeper relationship with God).
  • Of the 20 behavioral indicators in the survey, a majority of Americans had a biblical perspective for seven of the 20 measures.
  • The worldview indicators for which theologically conservative pastors were least likely to provide biblical answers were the responsibility to share the gospel; worrying about life; and considering a divorce due to an unhappy relationship to be moral.
  • Integrated Disciples lead very different lives from people who lack a biblical worldview. For instance, they are 18 times less likely to support same-sex marriage; 9 times more likely to prefer limited government; 9 times more likely to be a pro-life advocate; only half as likely to prefer socialism to capitalism.
  • Regular religious activity does not insure having a biblical worldview. Less than half of those who read the Bible every day, less than one-third of born again Christians; and only one-fifth of those who share their faith in Christ with others met the criteria for being an Integrated Disciple.

 

  • Integrated Disciple Scores vary across different religious and population segments:
  • All adults, 18 or older – 10%
  • SAGE Cons – 90%
  • Born again Christians – 31%
  • Theologically conservative adults – 25%*
  • Adults who say they have a biblical worldview – 21%*
  • Pro-life advocate – 19%*
  • Theologically conservative Protestant pastors – 88%*
  • Pastors with a seminary degree – 86%
  • Pastors without a seminary degree – 92%
  • Protestant – 19%
  • Catholic – 2%
  • Adults 18 to 30 years old – 4%
  • Adults 31 to 49 years old – 7%
  • Adults 50 to 64 years old – 15%
  • Adults 65 or older – 17%
  • Males – 9%
  • Women – 11%
  • White adults – 12%
  • Hispanic adults – 7%
  • Black adults – 9%
  • Asian adults – 6%
  • LGBTQ adults – less than 1/2 of 1%
  • Trump voters – 16%
  • Clinton voters – 6%
  • Theologically conservative pastors who voted for Trump – 97%
  • Theologically conservative pastors who voted for Clinton – 37%
  • Read the Bible daily – 45%
  • Married – 12%
  • Never been married – 8%

(* = Categorization is based on self-identification)

  • Proportion of populations who had a perfect score as Integrated Disciples:
  • All adults – one-tenth of 1%
  • Born again Christians – two-tenths of 1%
  • SAGE Cons – 3%
  • Theologically conservative Protestant pastors – 20%*

(* = Categorization is based on self-identification)

 

More information is available and will be regularly released on ACFI’s website: www.culturefaith.com