A special feature of the NCS-IV is that it gathered detailed staffing information that was used to conduct a follow-up survey of clergy who serve NCS-IV congregations. The resulting National Survey of Religious Leaders (NSRL) is a survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,600 clergy from across the religious spectrum. It surveyed religious leaders who work in congregations, including full-time and part-time ministerial staff, assistant and specialist ministerial staff (such as youth ministers, religious education directors, and others), and head clergy. Conducted in 2019-2020, the NSRL contains a wealth of information about congregations’ religious leaders. There are questions about respondents’ jobs and careers, including job satisfaction; religious beliefs and practices; views about and practices related to mental health; attitudes and practices related to end-of-life issues; community involvement; political attitudes and practices; engagement with the larger religious world; knowledge of and attitudes about science, and how science informs their work; primary information sources; mental and physical health; and demographic characteristics such as gender, race/ethnicity, age, education, birthplace, marital status, and income.

The NSRL is a natural extension of the NCS, and it constitutes a significant new resource for deepening our knowledge about religious leaders in twenty-first century America.

Learn more at the NSRL website.


  • More than 5,300 participating congregations representing 80+ Christian denominations, plus Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and other religious groups.
  • Information on demographics, leadership, worship life, community engagement, and much more.
  • Contains data tables, graphs, and detailed analysis.
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