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American Beliefs Study Press Kit

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, with more reports continually being prepared and made available at

Key Findings:

  • 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.

Meet the Spokesperson

Terry Poplava

As director of strategic expertise at ACS Technologies, Terry Poplava leads the company’s expansion of consulting services through forging relationships with organizations who are leaders in serving across Christian denominations, along with developing consultancies based on ACS Technologies’ expertise. He is dedicated to stewardship and to supporting church leaders by developing people and creating trusted resources.

Terry coaches churches in the following: strategic planning and development for effective evangelization and discipleship cultivation; strengthening church leadership, member and community engagement, and financial health; and identifying generational insights for leaders to apply to their congregations, or re-engage those who have left.

Sample Interview Questions

  1. ACS Technologies has created a series of reports based on a study conducted on the religious beliefs and practices of Americans.  Can you offer an overview of the American Beliefs Study and how it was conducted?
  2. What were some of the most surprising trends ACS Technologies found from analyzing the data?
  3. Why is it so crucial that parish and diocesan ministry leaders pay attention to the findings in these reports, and how is the team of consultants at ACS uniquely poised to assist?
  4. As ACS Technologies is preparing additional reports, can you offer a sneak peek on what’s next?
  5. Where can people go to access all of the American Beliefs Reports?

Media Requests

Contact Carrie Kline at for interview requests.

Digital Assets

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