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New Insight from American Beliefs Study Empowers Catholic Leadership To Minister More Effectively Post-Pandemic

    ACS Technologies issues compelling series of reports based on religious beliefs of Americans today

    Florence, SC, April 10, 2023—As the post-pandemic world moves more and more to a less centralized view of religion and religious affiliation, churches and ministries today are struggling to connect and engage with their own communities.  A leader in church management software, market expertise, and data analysis for the last 45 years, ACS Technologies examined the theological beliefs of Americans with their ground-breaking American Beliefs Study: Religious Preferences and Practices, originally conducted in 2013 and then repeated in 2017 and 2021.  Valuable insights that reveal changing behaviors and social and moral attitudes and trends within communities of faith have been distilled into a series of nine unique reports; six are currently available, with the balance releasing monthly. More information on the reports is available at

    “As the landscape of the Church in America continues to shift, parishes and ministries must be at the forefront of new ministry ideas, parishioner needs, and underlying personal issues that affect every person in the pews,” notes Terry Poplava, lifelong Catholic and director of strategic expertise at ACS Technologies. “You simply can’t love and meet the needs of a community you don’t know, and that’s the primary reason we embarked on this research.  This new data reveals modern man’s current struggles, hopes, and longings and enables Catholic leaders at all levels to operate around informed strategies and practices geared toward new generations of current Catholics, fallen away Catholics, and those who have never heard the Gospel, with new views on life, family, morality, and purpose.” 

    The most recent study surveyed a sample of nearly 15,000 Americans from diverse demographics, cultures, and professions.  The most surprising trends have been observed among respondents’ practices and preferences:

    • Overall, the study found that 33.3 percent of self-identified Christians are Practicing, and 66.7 percent are Nominal. Older generations are far likelier to meet practicing Christian criteria (39 percent of Boomers, 32 percent of Gen Xers, and 28 percent of Millennials).
    • Americans are more likely now to distance themselves from corporate worship by saying that ‘believing in Jesus does not require participating in a church’ (63 percent now vs. 50 percent in 2017) and that ‘people in the church don’t behave as Jesus would have,’ (61 percent now vs. 32 percent in 2017).
    • Protestant Christians were significantly more likely to describe themselves as practicing Christians (37%) compared to Catholics (28%). 
    • The top reasons for staying away were ‘Religious people are too judgmental,’ ‘Religion is too focused on money,’ that they ‘Don’t trust organized religion’ or they didn’t ‘trust religious leaders.’ 
    • Protestants place a slightly higher value on traditional worship compared to Catholics. However, there is an apparent strong connection between “traditional worship” and the fourth item on the list “celebrating the sacraments,” especially among Catholics and practicing Christians in the Boomer and Silent generations.

    Based on the growing need for new ministry innovation and better-informed programming to reach more fallen-away and disengaged Catholics, both in the pews and those missing from the pews, ACS Technologies now focuses on offering consulting to assist Catholic leaders at all levels with understanding and applying data to their ministry planning. “Parish and diocesan ministry efforts have to be focused,” continues Poplava. “There is no margin for error with so many souls at stake. The human heart’s need for God has not changed, but we must be intentional about how we present the Gospel in ways that speak to the heart of modern man. This is the goal of ACST Consulting. We want to put the muscle of our years of experience at the service of the Church to most effectively live the call to ‘go, baptize, and teach.’”

    All available reports in the American Beliefs Study series can be accessed for free here.  Forthcoming reports will focus on the rise of ‘Nones’ (those not claiming any religion) and their impact on the Church.

    For more information and a complete press kit, visit

    To request an interview with Terry Poplava, contact Carrie Kline at

    About ACS Technologies

    Founded in 1978, ACS Technologies is the leading, most comprehensive provider of church ministry tools, support, and expertise solutions to nearly 50,000 churches, schools, dioceses, and denominational offices. With the mission to enable everyone in the Church with a personalized ministry environment to make God-honoring decisions in actionable ways. ACS Technologies desires to build the Kingdom by being a trusted ministry partner in the daily life of every church. ACS Technologies stands apart by providing a whole church approach, meeting the needs of the denomination/diocese, pastor/priest, staff/volunteers, and congregants/parishioners with unique value to each role with each ministry goal. ACS Technologies is a privately held independent Christian family-led company based out of Florence, SC, with remote team members across the U.S.

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