Research plays a key role in our mission to help people grow spiritually. We work with researchers at the Center for Bible Engagement (CBE) to find out how people best connect with Scripture and what difference it makes in their lives.

The Center for Bible Engagement seeks to answer the question: Why do so many people own Bibles but so few read them? The CBE goes beyond simple Bible usage statistics to consider attitudes and behaviors that significantly impact spiritual growth and a person's relationship with God. The primary goal of the CBE is to develop tools and resources that will engage people with God's Word.

Since its inception in 2003, the CBE has become the major world center addressing Bible engagement and spiritual growth. Our researchers have surveyed more than 200,000 people around the world about their spiritual lives. Today the CBE is led by Dr. Arnie Cole & Dr. Pamela Ovwigho. Browse in-depth research findings below.

Snapshot of the 200,000+ Surveyed

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The Power of 4 Effect

A key discovery from the CBE research is that the life of someone who engages scripture 4 or more times a week looks radically different from the life of someone who does not. In fact, the lives of Christians who do not engage the Bible most days of the week are statistically the same as the lives of non-believers.

Someone who engages the Bible 4 or more times a week is:

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Research Findings

  • SPIRITUAL LANDSCAPE

    Faith in Real Life: What Christian Media Should Know about the Spiritual Lives of Australians
    Ministry typically touches the spiritual lives of individuals, rather than countries as a whole. Thus it's important to consider how people live their faith in everyday life. This study explores how engaged Australians are in faith practices such as church attendance, prayer and scripture. Read more

    Faith in Real Life: An In-Depth Look at the Spiritual Lives of People Around the Globe
    Want to know what followers of a particular religion really believe and how they live? You have to go beyond the religion's teachings and take a look at their daily lives. This ground-breaking study by the Center for Bible Engagement provides new insights into the spiritual lives of people from the world's major religions. Almost 10,000 people in 20 countries shared their beliefs about death, communicating with God or their gods, prayer, sacred texts and what it means to grow spiritually. They told us not only what they believe, but also what spiritual practices they engage in and what their needs are. Read more

    Bible Engagement and Mosaics
    Previous studies have described the Mosaic generation (those born between 1984 and 2002) as "moral pragmatists" who make moral decisions based on "whatever works." In this study, we explore young adults' spiritual practices & how they view communicating with God. Read more

    Temptation Survey Results
    To learn how Christians are winning (and losing) the day spiritually, the Center for Bible Engagement surveyed over 8,000 Christ followers who had spent over 84 million days following Christ. Their answers concerning the temptations they face & how they deal with them provide important information for helping other Christ followers "win the day." Read more

    Americans' Views of Spiritual Growth & Maturity
    Explore the U.S. spiritual landscape & learn what Americans believe about spiritual growth & how they live it out. Read more

  • BIBLE ENGAGEMENT

    Research Synthesis: Bible Engagement and Spiritual Growth
    Through CBE surveys, more than 100,000 people from around the world have shared about their spiritual lives. Consistently, we have found that engaging the Bible four or more days a week has a profound impact on the individual's life. This research synthesis summarizes the massive data we've collected and makes the case for why Bible engagement is the key to spiritual growth. Read more

    Reading Plans & Bible Engagement
    Typing the phrase "Bible reading plan" into an internet search engine produces over 100,000 hits. But how many people really use Bible reading plans & what are their potential for increasing scripture engagement? Read more

    Scientific Evidence for the Power of 4
    What difference does engaging scripture at least 4 days a week make in people's lives? This is what the data says about "the power of 4." Read more

    Bible Engagement and Mosaics
    Previous studies have described the Mosaic generation (those born between 1984 and 2002) as "moral pragmatists" who make moral decisions based on "whatever works." In this study, we explore young adults' spiritual practices & how they view communicating with God. Read more

    Bible Engagement & Social Behavior
    How does familiarity & contact with the Bible correlate with moral behavior among adults & teens? Read more

    Bible Literacy
    Why do so many Christians own Bibles & so few read them? Most often because they are "too busy." Our data indicates though that scripture engagement is a better indicator of spiritual growth. Read more

  • CHILDREN & YOUTH

    How Do Christian Youth Hear from God?
    Most Americans say they communicate with God through prayer and do so on a fairly regular basis. But what about the youth in our church youth groups? What do they believe about how God communicates? To answer this question, CBE conducted a special study of 1,564 teens attending a weekend event. Their responses reveal how they listen for God's voice in their lives and, for some, how they struggle in this area. Read more

    Keeping Faith in the Transition to Young Adulthood
    At an event in New York City with about 100 pastors, our conversation about spiritual growth and church health quickly turned to the question of youth. The pastors believed that youth are leaving the church in droves and were struggling to find answers to what to do about it. Read more

    Summary of Findings Among Young Believers
    A brief summary of our study of children's beliefs about communicating with God. Read more

    Research Findings Among Young Believers
    How do children believe they communicate with God? In this study we explore this question, as well as how often children read the Bible & their moral behavior. Read more

    On the Verge of Walking Away
    How do U.S. teens feel they communicate with God? What are their Bible reading habits & what may be the implications for turning the trend of teens walking away from the church? Read more

  • CHRISTIAN MEDIA

    Christian Media in Australia: Who Tunes In and Who Tunes It Out
    Creating content that connects with both a Christian and mainstream audience is challenging, as what attracts one, may alienate the other. In this study, we seek to help Australia's Christian media industry understand who their consumers are and what motivates them in their media choices. Read more

    Christian Media White Paper
    A recent survey by the Center for Bible Engagement provides new insights into who Christian media reaches, what motivates their media choices, and what they would like to see in the future. The findings can help those working in the Christian media industry improve their reach and effectiveness. Read more

    Who Really Uses Christian Media?
    Most Americans have used some form of Christian media in the past. However, Christian media is not exclusively the purview of believers. Read more

  • CHURCHES

    Scripture Engagement in New York City
    More than 3,000 congregants from 70 New York City churches shared what works and what doesn't in their spiritual lives. Although they see Bible-based teaching and preaching as a major strength of their church, engaging the Bible Monday through Saturday presents a challenge for them. Read more

    How Do Frequent Church Attenders Define Spiritual Maturity
    Spiritual maturity is a concept frequently discussed but rarely defined. In this study, we explore how teens & adults who regularly attend church define spiritual maturity. Read more

  • PORNOGRAPHY

    Spiritual Crises among Men
    Christian men are struggling to maintain their faith. In this world where you can ruin your spiritual life within a matter of minutes with a few mouse clicks, too many men are disconnected spiritually and vulnerable. Read CBE's analyses of the latest research on where the battles are and how Christian men can finish well. Read more

    Confronting the Big Blue Elephant
    Increasingly churches are recognizing the toll sexual temptation, particularly in the form of pornography, is taking on families. Many are taking steps to confront what has been called the "elephant in the pew" through open discussions, prayer and special events. Read more

    Men & the Temptation of Pornography
    In today's world, sexually explicit material is just a click away for most people, most of the time. Concerns over who is using pornography and the consequences are running high in both in the mainstream and the Christian community. This research brief summarizes what we have learned about how many people struggle with the temptation of pornography. Read more