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and resources that lead
to life transformation.
Research plays a key role in our mission to help people grow spiritually. We work to find out how people best connect with Scripture and what difference it makes in their lives.
The Center for Bible Engagement seeks to answer the question: Why do so many people own Bibles but so few read them? CBE goes beyond simple Bible usage statistics to consider attitudes and behaviors that significantly impact spiritual growth and a person's relationship with God. The primary goal of CBE is to develop tools and resources that will engage people with God's Word.
Since its inception in 2003, CBE has become the major world center addressing Bible engagement and spiritual growth. Our researchers have surveyed more than 400,000 people around the world about their spiritual lives. Today CBE is led by Dr. Arnie Cole & Dr. Pamela Caudill. Browse in-depth research findings below.
Snapshot of the 400,000+ Surveyed
The Power of 4 Effect
A key discovery from CBE research is that the life of someone who engages scripture 4 or more times a week looks radically different from the life of someone who does not. In fact, the lives of Christians who do not engage the Bible most days of the week are statistically the same as the lives of non-believers.
Someone who engages the Bible 4 or more times a week is:
more likely to memorize scripture
less likely to view pornography
less likely to struggle with loneliness
more likely to share faith with others
Spiritual LandscapeSpiritual Needs and Ministry Opportunities in Charlotte, NC Often times in ministry, we find ourselves wondering how our community really feels about Jesus, the Bible, and church. In this study, we explore those questions, utilizing one city as a test case. In this Spiritual Needs Assessment of Charlotte, NC, we explore what 2,000 Charlotte metro area adults and 134 pastors say about their personal spiritual beliefs and practices, their perceptions of the Bible, church, and what churches and ministries can do better. Read more *Sponsored by the American Bible Society. Faith in Real Life: What Christian Media Should Know about the Spiritual Lives of Australians Ministry typically touches the spiritual lives of individuals, rather than countries as a whole. Thus it's important to consider how people live their faith in everyday life. This study explores how engaged Australians are in faith practices such as church attendance, prayer and scripture. Read more Faith in Real Life: An In-Depth Look at the Spiritual Lives of People Around the Globe Want to know what followers of a particular religion really believe and how they live? You have to go beyond the religion's teachings and take a look at their daily lives. This ground-breaking study by the Center for Bible Engagement provides new insights into the spiritual lives of people from the world's major religions. Almost 10,000 people in 20 countries shared their beliefs about death, communicating with God or their gods, prayer, sacred texts and what it means to grow spiritually. They told us not only what they believe, but also what spiritual practices they engage in and what their needs are. Read more Bible Engagement and Mosaics Previous studies have described the Mosaic generation (those born between 1984 and 2002) as "moral pragmatists" who make moral decisions based on "whatever works." In this study, we explore young adults' spiritual practices and how they view communicating with God. Read more Temptation Survey Results To learn how Christians are winning (and losing) the day spiritually, the Center for Bible Engagement surveyed over 8,000 Christ followers who had spent over 84 million days following Christ. Their answers concerning the temptations they face and how they deal with them provide important information for helping other Christ followers "win the day." Read more Americans' Views of Spiritual Growth & Maturity Explore the U.S. spiritual landscape and learn what Americans believe about spiritual growth and how they live it out. Read more
Bible EngagementResearch Synthesis: Bible Engagement and Spiritual Growth Through CBE surveys, more than 100,000 people from around the world have shared about their spiritual lives. Consistently, we have found that engaging the Bible four or more days a week has a profound impact on the individual's life. This research synthesis summarizes the massive data we've collected and makes the case for why Bible engagement is the key to spiritual growth. Read more Reading Plans & Bible Engagement Typing the phrase "Bible reading plan" into an internet search engine produces over 100,000 hits. But how many people really use Bible reading plans and what are their potential for increasing scripture engagement? Read more Scientific Evidence for the Power of 4 What difference does engaging scripture at least 4 days a week make in people's lives? This is what the data says about "the power of 4." Read more Bible Engagement and Mosaics Previous studies have described the Mosaic generation (those born between 1984 and 2002) as "moral pragmatists" who make moral decisions based on "whatever works." In this study, we explore young adults' spiritual practices and how they view communicating with God. Read more Bible Engagement & Social Behavior How does familiarity and contact with the Bible correlate with moral behavior among adults and teens? Read more Bible Literacy Why do so many Christians own Bibles and so few read them? Most often because they are "too busy." Our data indicates though that scripture engagement is a better indicator of spiritual growth. Read more
Children & YouthHow Do Christian Youth Hear from God? Most Americans say they communicate with God through prayer and do so on a fairly regular basis. But what about the youth in our church youth groups? What do they believe about how God communicates? To answer this question, CBE conducted a special study of 1,564 teens attending a weekend event. Their responses reveal how they listen for God's voice in their lives and, for some, how they struggle in this area. Read more Keeping Faith in the Transition to Young Adulthood At an event in New York City with about 100 pastors, our conversation about spiritual growth and church health quickly turned to the question of youth. The pastors believed that youth are leaving the church in droves and were struggling to find answers to what to do about it. Read more Summary of Findings Among Young Believers A brief summary of our study of children's beliefs about communicating with God. Read more Research Findings Among Young Believers How do children believe they communicate with God? In this study we explore this question, as well as how often children read the Bible and their moral behavior. Read more On the Verge of Walking Away How do U.S. teens feel they communicate with God? What are their Bible reading habits and what may be the implications for turning the trend of teens walking away from the church? Read more
Christian MediaChristian Media in Australia: Who Tunes In and Who Tunes It Out Creating content that connects with both a Christian and mainstream audience is challenging, as what attracts one, may alienate the other. In this study, we seek to help Australia's Christian media industry understand who their consumers are and what motivates them in their media choices. Read more Christian Media White Paper A recent survey by the Center for Bible Engagement provides new insights into who Christian media reaches, what motivates their media choices, and what they would like to see in the future. The findings can help those working in the Christian media industry improve their reach and effectiveness. Read more Who Really Uses Christian Media? Most Americans have used some form of Christian media in the past. However, Christian media is not exclusively the purview of believers. Read more
ChurchesScripture Engagement in New York City More than 3,000 congregants from 70 New York City churches shared what works and what doesn't in their spiritual lives. Although they see Bible-based teaching and preaching as a major strength of their church, engaging the Bible Monday through Saturday presents a challenge for them. Read more How Do Frequent Church Attenders Define Spiritual Maturity Spiritual maturity is a concept frequently discussed but rarely defined. In this study, we explore how teens and adults who regularly attend church define spiritual maturity. Read more
PornographySpiritual Crises among Men Christian men are struggling to maintain their faith. In this world where you can ruin your spiritual life within a matter of minutes with a few mouse clicks, too many men are disconnected spiritually and vulnerable. Read CBE's analyses of the latest research on where the battles are and how Christian men can finish well. Read more Confronting the Big Blue Elephant Increasingly churches are recognizing the toll sexual temptation, particularly in the form of pornography, is taking on families. Many are taking steps to confront what has been called the "elephant in the pew" through open discussions, prayer and special events. Read more Men & the Temptation of Pornography In today's world, sexually explicit material is just a click away for most people, most of the time. Concerns over who is using pornography and the consequences are running high in both in the mainstream and the Christian community. This research brief summarizes what we have learned about how many people struggle with the temptation of pornography. Read more
Academic PublicationsCBE researchers also share their research and findings with the academic community. Links to the abstracts for their peer-reviewed publications can be found here. Scriptural engagement, communication with God, and moral behavior among children Article in International Journal of Children s Spirituality 15(2):101-113 · May 2010 Private Spiritual Practices: Bible Engagement and Moral Behavior Article · September 2016
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