FSD3581 Parish Employee Survey 2015

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Authors

  • Ketola, Kimmo (Church Research Institute)
  • Church Research Institute

Keywords

church, equal opportunity, family life, hobbies, marriage, ordination of women, personnel, religiosity, religious beliefs, religious communities, religious personnel

Abstract

The 2015 church employee survey studied the views of people working in the parishes of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Main themes of the survey included the future of work in the church, structural changes and strategic planning in parishes, ordination of women, the amended Marriage Act entering into force in 2017, and Christian values and ethics.

First, the respondents were asked about the significance of work, family and leisure time in life. Questions included, for example, whether the respondents felt that their work was a calling for them, that having a family increased the quality of life, and that everybody should have at least one hobby. Views on the future of the Evangelical Lutheran Church were surveyed with various statements on what the main focus of the church should be moving forward. The statements included, for example, whether the church should be more direct in discussing social issues, support immigrants more, be more accepting towards sexual minorities, and be more visible on online platforms. Structural changes and strategic planning in the parishes were examined with questions on whether the respondents' parish had gone through a merger, how the respondents thought parish structures should be developed, and whether there had been changes in personnel in their line of work and how the changes had affected their work environment. Questions also surveyed the respondents' views on the ordination of women.

Next, the respondents' attitudes were examined with various statements relating to values and religion in everyday life and society. Further questions surveyed how the respondents thought the church should act after the amended Marriage Act entered into force in 2017 (e.g. whether the church should continue to only officiate opposite-sex marriages or also officiate same-sex marriages) as well as what they thought about the role of religious communities in Finnish society and the presence of different religious gathering spaces in their area. The respondents were also asked whether they thought they were more conservative or liberal within the church, how often they attended worship services, and how often they prayed.

Background variables included the respondent's year of birth, gender, job title, how long they had worked for the church or religious organisation, size of their parish, diocese, type of municipality where they worked, and political party they had voted for in the 2015 parliamentary elections, and whether they belonged to a revivalist movement or a Christian organisation.

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