CARA occasionally produces working papers on topics on themes of more general interest, drawing from CARA research. To view the following working papers you must have the free Adobe Reader software on your computer.

Young Adult Catholics...Living with diversity

This examination of Young Adult Catholics and how they compare with Catholics of other generations was prepared by CARA at Georgetown University. The data for this study come from a national telephone survey of a random sample of self-identified Catholics in the United States.

Political Preferences...Public Square Fall 2000

This report presents major findings from a study of America Catholics in the Public Square. The study was designed by the CARA in collaboration with the Commonweal Foundation and the Faith and Reason Institute and is part of the Faith in the Public Square studies funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. This part of the study is based on a national random sample telephone survey of self-identified adult Catholics in the United States.

Campus Ministry

The Secretariat for Education of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops engaged CARA to examine the effects of participation in college campus ministry on several aspects of Catholics' religious commitment. This report does so by analyzing data from the CARA Catholic Poll 2001, a telephone poll of self-identified Catholics in the United States.

Ongoing formation among Priests in the U.S.

CARA first released this work as a report commissioned by NOCERCC, the National Organization for the Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy. The research was funded in part by a grant from the Louisville Institute. In September 2002 NOCERCC permitted CARA to release the report as a CARA Working Paper in order to provide for a wider distribution of the findings.

Priests in the U.S.: Satisfaction, Workload and Support Structures

This CARA Working Paper was prepared for the national conference on research on priests in the United States sponsored by the USCCB Committee on Priestly Life and Ministry and held at the Life Cycle Institute of Catholic University of America on September 10, 2002. It contains data on CARA studies that have been sponsored in part by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the National Organization for the Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Priests (NOCERCC).
Profile of the Diaconate in the United States: A Report of Findings from CARA's Deacon Poll

This CARA Working Paper was prepared for the Secretariat for the Diaconate of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in January 2004. The report provides information on the demographics, background characteristics, and current ministry of deacons in the United States using a random sample telephone poll permanent deacons conducted by CARA in 2001.

Social Justice Attitudes and Religious Commitment among Participants
in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps

This CARA Working paper examines how and why social justice attitudes and religious commitment change among participants in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC). Data come from two written surveys completed by 95 first-time Jesuit volunteers before and near the conclusion of the 1996-1997 year of service. Volunteers' social justice attitudes became more liberal, especially on welfare reform, an issue of intense public debate at the time. Volunteers were particularly likely to become more liberal on welfare reform if they got to know poor people in their neighborhood and if the social service agency where they volunteered encouraged a social justice perspective. Reported frequency of worship attendance declined slightly, and some religious attitudes became less traditional.

Catholic Reactions to the News of Sexual Abuse Cases Involving Catholic Clergy

Early in 2002, the issue of sexual abuse among Roman Catholic priests began receiving unprecedented attention in the national news media. How the nation's lay Catholics were affected by revelations of clergy sexual abuse and by revelations about Church leaders' handling of the problem has been a matter of intense debate since that time. This paper provides a review of evidence from survey research conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University. It primarily summarizes results from ten national telephone polls of adult self-identified Catholics conducted since January 2001. Among topics covered include affiliation, Mass attendance, giving, and confidence in Church leadership.

Catholicism on Campus: Stability and change in Catholic student faith by college type

In this paper, CARA analyzes data from a longitudinal survey of college students provided by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). These data include 14,527 students at 148 U.S. colleges and universities and were collected from students as freshman in 2004 and again to these students as juniors in spring 2007. CARA's analysis focuses specifically on Catholic students and we find that previously estimated negative effects of attending a Catholic college have been overstated. Catholic colleges and universities appear to be doing no harm—certainly in comparison to other types of higher education institutions—and at a more subtle level may be increasing their student's Catholicity. However, it is difficult to disentangle these positive effects from self-selection. The survey results indicate more broadly that Catholic students at Catholic colleges and universities remain profoundly connected to their faith in their junior year with 87 percent saying that seeking to follow religious teachings in everyday life is at least "somewhat important" to them and 86 percent saying their "religiousness" did not become "weaker" in college.