Who is included in the study?
- Pastoral ministers involved with youth and young adults
- Both paid and volunteers
- Pastoral Juvenil Hispana leaders
- Parish, diocesan, and campus ministers
- Leaders of ecclesial movements
How will people be invited to be a part of this research?
- We are currently collecting contact information for thos interested in being in focus groups.
- Due to the fact that our final sample of participants will not entirely be random, we will be seeking to balance our sample to match the diversity of the U.S. Church.
- We will be reaching out to dioceses and collaborating members for assistance in accesssing the diversity of pastoral leaders needed.
- IF INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING, FILL OUT OUR CONTACT FORM TO BE ADDED TO OUR SAMPLE LIST.
How many focus groups will be conducted?
- There will be 30 to 50 focus groups, depending on the funding.
- The more focus groups we are able to conduct, the greater diversity we can achieve and we can offer multiple focus groups for people with similar experiences.
If I participate, what kind of a commitment do I have?
- Participants will be invited to join one focus group.
- Respond to the communication from the project coordinator and researchers.
- Once an invitation is accepted, there will be a very short form to fill out to provide consent to participate.
- Arrive a few minutes early before your scheduled start time, and engage in the focus group conversation during its entirety, (no more than 90 minutes).
- At the conclusion of the focus group, there should be no additional requests beyond prayer and inviting others.
When you say diversity what do you mean?
- The goal of our research is to reflect the different contexts and aspects of ministry leaders in the U.S. church. This is not meant to be a random sample but one that seeks to listen to a variety of voices from these leaders serving in different ways. This means making sure all voices are heard and included in our data. The research intends to include a diversity of ministry leaders including ages, roles, culture, and geographic region.
- Leaders from Rural, Urban, and Suburban settings will all be invited to participate.
Will the focus groups be conducted in more than one language?
- For now, focus groups will be conducted mostly in English with some focus groups in Spanish. How many of each is still being determined based upon funding.
Who will lead the focus groups?
- A trained team of researchers employed by Ministry Training Source will be leading focus groups.
Can I be assured that my responses will be confidential?
- Yes, our professional researchers take confidentially very seriously. They all have years of experience in both research and ministry, and understand the intricacies involved when wanting to be open and honest.
- The focus groups will be recorded and transcribed; however, only the research team will have access to this information.
- Any findings shared will be done without names or identifying information attached.
Who is funding this study?
- We are grateful for the following organizations who have provided $5,000-$10,000 to sponsor this study:
- NRVC – National Religious Vocation Conference
- National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM)
- Mark D. Pacione Foundation
- Ministry Training Source
- Many individual ministry leaders, friends, and interested parties have donated to the study.
- Other organizations are in discernment of sponsorship
How much funding has been raised?
- At this time, we have raised enough funding for 30 focus groups.
Can a diocese be a sponsor?
- Absolutely! Sponsors are asked to help fund 5 to 10 focus groups through a donation of $5000 to $10,000.
Can a diocese have their own group and get findings?
- Yes, No, Maybe: Right now the research sample is still being determined. We have numerous models we are considering to maximize participation. Due to our need to protect the confidentiality of all participants, it is highly unlikely that we will be able to share the specifics of a certain group with anyone. The goal in these focus groups is to create an atmosphere of trust and honesty.
What is the timeline for this research?
- We began our planning in Fall 2021 and hosted listening sessions for the research needs at NCYC.
- In Winter 2022, the intended Sample, and planned questions were finalized.
- Registration for participating in the focus groups began.
- Focus groups are taking place between March and December of 2022.
- The Second Phase of the research will begin in 2023, again depending on funding.
Why are you doing this now?
- This will be the 5th research report on ministry leadership led by Ministry Training Source. These have all occurred 6-8 years after each other. With the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and from the findings in the 2016 report, “The Passing of the Baton in Catholic Youth Ministry” it became necessary to begin the research earlier than in years passed.