Research and Statistics
The Assembly of Bishops Research Coordinator, Alexei Krindatch, has prepared a range of reports and maps on Orthodox Christianity in America. Along with the following research summaries, the full reports are available in PDF format.
This map shows the names, jurisdictions and locations of all canonical, active Orthodox bishops in the United States. The total number of Orthodox parishes in each county is also indicated.
The study focuses on US educational institutions that offer programs in Orthodox theology. It is based on a survey of 12 Orthodox theological schools in the US. The report examines degrees and programs offered by these schools, questions of their accreditation, student body, and faculty. Data-gathering was finalized in September 2014; all data was accurate at that time.
The study addresses religious giving of Orthodox Church members to their home parishes and to wider religious causes and explores the differences in giving between members of various Orthodox jurisdictions and parishioners according to certain demographics. The study also includes suggestions for how Orthodox parishes might increase the generosity of parishioners. A summary of the study can be read here.
The report focuses on Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the official collegiate campus ministry program of the Assembly. For the study, student leaders were surveyed in 130 OCF chapters. What types of challenges do OCF chapters face? What are their needs? What does it take to be a successful and vibrant OCF chapter? The report answers these and other questions from the viewpoints of active student OCF leaders.
There are more than 70 Orthodox monastic communities in the United States today. There exists significant diversity among these communities, including in their size, liturgical practices, openness to outside visitors, and educational programs. The Assembly’s Committee for Monastic Communities is tasked with studying and comparing the different monastic communities and practices in the United States. Accordingly, this study was designed as a first step toward that goal.
In the US today, there are approximately 800,000 Orthodox “adherents”— persons who participate (either regularly or occasionally) in the life of an Orthodox parish. This report provides detailed geographic information about Orthodox Church adherents, parishes, and monasteries in the US, including: geographic distribution of parishes and adherents by state and county; a state-by-state look at which jurisdictions have the largest numbers of adherents; and state-by-state and county-by-county growth in the number of Orthodox parishes between the period of 2000-2010. In addition this report offers discussion on possible regions for the future founding of new Orthodox parishes. The report is accompanied by six state and county-level maps.
In the US today, there are approximately 800,000 Orthodox adherents, yet only 26% of them attend church on a regular weekly basis. This report explores regularity of church attendance by jurisdiction, state, and parish size. The report examines the correlation between parish size and frequency of church attendance. The report considers why some states have higher church attendance than others and suggests which states might make good “candidates” for new Orthodox parishes. The report is accompanied by three maps.
This report is based on data from a national survey of Orthodox parishes administered in 2011. Each canonical Orthodox parish in the US was asked to respond to four questions on English-language usage during Sunday services and parish ethnic culture and identity. 98.6% of all US Orthodox parishes participated in the survey. Results of this study are presented jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction and also state-by-state. Special attention is given to the question of measuring the strength of ethnic identity and ethnic culture in US Orthodox churches. The report also examines the correlation between ethnic identity/English language usage and regularity of church attendance. The report is accompanied by four maps.
This report examines the budgets and overall financial health of parishes in the three largest American Orthodox jurisdictions—Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA), Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese (AOCA), and Orthodox Church in America (OCA)—in the wake of the 2008-2009 recession. The report looks at the financial health of Orthodox parishes in 2000 vs. 2010; how the recession impacted parishes’ income, operations, and church members; and whether the three jurisdictions were equally affected by the recession. The report also compares the recession’s effect on Orthodox parishes versus Protestant congregations and Roman Catholic parishes. Results are based on a 2010 survey in which 368 GOA, AOCA, and OCA parishes participated.
This report summarizes important information about membership in Orthodox churches in the US; regularity of church attendance; geographic distribution of Orthodox parishes; strength of ethnic culture in American Orthodox churches; and Orthodox monastic communities in the US. Data are presented jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction and state-by-state. The report is accompanied by seven maps.
This report provides short and easy answers to the following eight questions:
- Geographically, how widespread are Orthodox churches throughout the territory of the United States?
- Where are the areas with the strongest Orthodox presence in America?
- What proportion are Orthodox Church members of the general US population, state-by-state and county-by-county?
- Is there anything remarkable about the geography of US Orthodox churches?
- How large are US Orthodox churches?
- Are US Orthodox churches growing?
- How "ethnic" are US Orthodox churches?
- What percentage of Orthodox Church members attend church on a weekly basis?
The report is accompanied by five county and state-level maps.