Association of Religion Data Archives
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) is a free source of online information related to American and international religion. One of the primary goals of the archive is to democratize access to academic information on religion by making this information as widely accessible as possible. Over 750 surveys, membership reports, and other data collections are currently available for online preview, and most can be downloaded free of charge. Other features include national profiles, GIS maps, church membership overviews, denominational heritage trees, tables, charts, and other summary reports.
Founded as the American Religion Data Archive in 1997, and online since 1998, the archive was initially targeted at researchers interested in American religion. In February 2006, the American Religion Data Archive became the Association of Religion Data Archives when an international data archive was added. The archive now includes both American and international collections as well as features for educators, journalists, religious congregations, and researchers. Features include national profiles, GIS maps, church membership overviews, denominational heritage trees, tables, charts, and other summary reports.
Data included in the ARDA are submitted by the foremost religion scholars and research centers in the world. Currently housed in the Social Science Research Institute at the Pennsylvania State University, the ARDA is funded by the Lilly Endowment, the John Templeton Foundation, Chapman University and the Pennsylvania State University.
Roger Finke, then professor of sociology at Purdue University, founded the American Religion Data Archive in 1996 on a grant from the Lilly Endowment . Data file collection and processing began in 1997. The online archive launched in the fall of 1998 under the domain name www.thearda.com, and originally contained thirty-three surveys regarding American religion. Within ten years, the archive had expanded to include more than 400 data files. As of 2013, over 750 data files were available for download on the ARDA website.
Starting in 2005, the ARDA began to host surveys dealing with religion outside the United States. In 2006, the archive therefore changed its name from the American Religion Data Archive to the Association of Religion Data Archives to more properly reflect the scope of information available. The name change preserved both the acronym and the domain name from the American Religion Data Archive.
Since its founding, the ARDA has moved from Purdue to the Population Research Institute at the Pennsylvania State University, where is still run under the direction of Roger Finke, with the assistance of Christopher Bader of Chapman University. Since 1997, the staff has expanded to include a research team of religion experts and graduate students, a marketing and web development team, a team of editors for guiding papers and working papers, a learning center editor, and a press room editor.
Maps and Reports
Maps and Reports contains membership information for dozens of religious groups in every county, state, and major urban area in the United States. This membership information is taken from the Religious Congregations and Membership Study (RCMS), the most complete census of religious congregations and their members in the United States. Selected demographic, crime, and voting information are also available.
The National Profiles provide information about religious adherents, religious freedoms, demographics, and other social measures for most nations and territories in the world. It includes information on the most prevalent religious groups in each and the level of religious freedom in each country.
American Denominations gives lineage ("family tree") and membership information for over 600 religious groups in the United States.
Community Profile Builder
The Community Profile Builder is designed to assist religious and community leaders in finding free information about their communities online.
The Learning Modules are designed for classroom use, but may be interesting for a wide variety of people. These topic driven exercises provide an introduction to the features available at the ARDA as well as introducing specific topics in the area of religion, such as the religious landscape of the United States, American evangelicalism, and religion's relationship with crime, science, sexuality, and other topics.
The ARDA is both affiliated with and funded by the following organizations:
•The Lilly Endowment
•The John Templeton Foundation
•Pennsylvania State University
The ARDA is affiliated with the following organizations without funding:
•The Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture
•The Bar Ilan University Religion and State Project
•The International Association of Religion Journalists
•The Portrait of American Life Survey
- Berkley Center, Georgetown University. "Association of Religion Data Archives". Resources on Faith, Ethics, and the Public Life. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- Finke, Roger; Christopher D. Bader and Edward C. Polson (2007). "A Growing Web of Resources: The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA)". Review of Religion Research 49 (1): 21–34.
- Merino, Stephen M; Roger Finke (2008-2009). "Stimulating Research and Discovery in the Study of Religion: The Association of Religion Data Archives (www.theARDA.com)". Geographies of Religions and Belief Systems 3 (1): 3–17.
- Finke, Roger; Amy Adamczyk (2008). "The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA): Online Research Data, Tools, and References". Politics and Religion 1 (3): 456–470.
- Finke, Roger; Christopher D. Bader, and Edward C. Polson (2007). "A Growing Web of Resources: The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) www.theARDA.com". Review of Religious Research 49 (1): 21–34.
- Merino, Stephen M; Roger Finke (2008- 2009). "Stimulating Research and Discovery in the Study of Religion: The Association of Religion Data Archives (www.theARDA.com)". Geographies of Religions and Belief Systems 3 (1): 3–17.
- "ARDA". About the ARDA. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
- "Data Archive". ARDA. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- the ARDA "ARDA". Retrieved 27 November 2013.