Welcome to the Beyond Beliefs Study
Much effort and study has been given to retaining youth within church organizations. However, it is still unclear how much youth who remain within a denomination, upon reaching young adulthood (ages 18-32), actually know about the official beliefs of their church or how they really feel about them. Given the responses young adults may provide, and it is often difficult or impossible to change beliefs, it becomes understandable why many church organizations have avoided this type of research.
The Seventh-day Adventist church is a church organization that has 28 official beliefs all of which can be modified through a specified process as advances in biblical scholarship are made and new insights are proposed. This makes the Seventh-day Adventist denomination an excellent candidate for this type of research and may assist this organization (and others with similar beliefs) in arresting the significant reduction of Millennial young adult membership which, despite costly research and programming efforts, has continued to decline.
The Beyond Beliefs study is a comprehensive, data rich research project that endeavored to explore this issue while placing a strong emphasis on giving a real voice to Millennial young adults aged 18-32. The inference and suggestions from this research are often the direct responses of the Millennial young adults themselves.
It was undertaken over four cohorts and collected quantitative data from close to 700 participants and comprehensive qualitative data from over 150 participants, all who identified as Seventh-day Adventists. The qualitative component generated over 5,000 pages of responses from Millennial young adults. In these responses they articulated in their own words what they liked/disliked about every single one of the 28 Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist church, if they thought they were relevant/irrelevant, or if they felt they were important/unimportant. Since this is a transparent study, all qualitative responses will be made available to the public. The study is in the process of being replicated globally.
The study was funded by the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and ClergyEd.com and was auspiced by the Religion and Biblical Languages Department of Andrews University, Michigan, USA.