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. Founded as the American Religion Data Archive in 1997, and online since 1998, the archive was initially targeted at researchers interested in American religion. One of the primary goals of the archive is to democratize access to quality information on religion by making this information as widely accessible as possible.
The targeted audience and the data collection have both greatly expanded since 1998. Over 450 surveys, membership reports, and other data collections are currently available for online preview, and most can be downloaded free of charge. 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. The archive, visited by tens of thousands of people each month, is a rich source of information related to religion in the United States.
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, the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, and the Pennsylvania State University.
The Data Archive includes more than 450 quantitative data files. The archive includes searchable codebooks and simple online analysis of data.
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.