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Interfaith Comparisons: Twenty Years of Data from Faith Communities Today Survey

Jan 17, 2021
Interfaith Comparisons_Twenty Years of Data_Mike McMullen

Mike McMullen is the lead researcher for Bahá’í data collection for Faith Communities Today (FACT), an interfaith research project which since the late-1990s has been developing and fielding questionnaires to most major denominations and faith traditions in America. This comparative research project surveys members of groups as wide-ranging as the Bahá’ís,  Baptists, Mormons, Muslims and Methodists and others (see This project is headquartered at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut at the Hartford Institute for Religious Research.

As the lead researcher for the Bahá’í component of FACT, Mike has helped collect Bahá’í data on trends related to: community worship, social service programs, community mission and identity, programs for youth, demographic information about the members, community leadership, conflict in the community, and finances. These questions were asked in surveys in 2000, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2015 and 2020. The result is a one-of-a-kind Bahá’í dataset describing its members, growth, and community characteristics. He has just compiled the data for the FACT 2020 survey, and his Wilmette Institute talk will give an overview of these findings. The Bahá’í community provided FACT data in late January and early February 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.



Mike McMullen

Mike McMullen is a professor of Sociology at the University of Houston-Clear Lake in Houston, Texas. He received his doctorate and MA in sociology from Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia). He received his BS in sociology and mathematics from the University of Kansas. He is the author of several books and articles, including The Bahá'í: The Religious Construction of a Global Identity was published by Rutgers University Press in 2000; and The Bahá’ís of America: The Growth and Change of a Religious Movement by New York University Press in 2015. He is currently working on a book on the history of conflict resolution in the United States. His areas of interest include the sociology of religion, the Middle East, organizational development and change, and conflict resolution and mediation. Dr. McMullen worked for five years as a researcher and workshop facilitator at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. McMullen spent a year living in Cairo, Egypt as a Fulbright Scholar, teaching sociology at American University in Cairo during the 2009-2010 academic years. Most recently, he spent a summer term teaching at the United States International University of Africa in Nairobi, Kenya in 2019.

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