Leadership Survey Report for Adventist Review Russian Edition

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1 Leadership Survey Report for Adventist Review Russian Edition Conducted for the Office of Archives, Statistics and Research General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists By the Center for Creative Ministry 2013

2 Introduction A survey of administrators and department directors employed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Euro-Asia Division (ESD) was conducted in the fall of 2012 as part of a worldwide survey to gather input regarding Adventist World magazine and the Adventist Review. The response in the ESD included 19 church leaders from the Division, Union and Conference/Mission levels. The survey questionnaire was translated into Russian and distributed by to Union officers in the ESD with instructions to re-send it to their department directors, institution administrators and local conference/mission officers. The 19 respondents represent a significant share of the leadership of the Adventist Church in the ESD. There is no standard allowance for sampling error in a sample of this size. It is too small to be a probability sample survey. The survey was conducted under a contract with the General Conference Office of Archives, Statistics and Research by the Center for Creative Ministry, a research organization affiliated with the North American Division church resources network which has conducted many other survey research projects for the NAD and other Seventh-day Adventist Church organizations over the last two decades. Petr Cincala, Principal Investigator Paul Richardson, Project Manager February 2013 Center for Creative Ministry Box 683 Milton Freewater, Oregon

3 The Russian edition of the Adventist Review is published on a quarterly schedule at the Euro-Asia Division publishing house. The 23 percent of the respondents who indicate that they receive the Adventist Review more often may be thinking of the version published in English at the General Conference office in the United States or other versions of the periodical that they receive on occasion. About half of the respondents say that they do not get the publication at all. Consequently many of the respondents are not able to give an answer to a number of the items in this survey. 3

4 Most of the respondents who receive the Adventist Review get it on paper. About one in four report that they access the periodical via the Internet or through a Tablet computer or Smartphone service. The Russian version of the periodical is distributed through the Euro-Asia Division web site. 4

5 Church leaders in the Euro-Asia Division are most likely to read each issue of the Adventist Review over several different occasions and to read the entire magazine. They are less likely to take a more casual approach as is reported by surveys in other parts of the world where leaders are more likely to read only about half the contents and just look at each issue once. 5

6 Four out of five readers among the leadership of the Adventist Church in the Euro- Asia Division spend no more than half an hour looking at each issue of the Adventist Review. This is about the same pattern of response as was found in similar surveys in other parts of the world. 6

7 Three out of four respondents indicated that they share their copy of the Adventist Review with their wife or husband. About a third share it with their children. Few of the respondents indicated that copies of the magazine are passed around or made available in the library at their office, unlike the pattern at many other places around the world where the same question was asked in surveys. 7

8 Nearly two thirds of the leaders in the Euro-Asia Division would prefer to get the Adventist Review via the Web or through a Tablet computer or an E-book reader. This is a significant majority and indicates that serious study should be given to making this periodical primarily an electronic publication which might greatly increase its availability, at least among denominational employees. 8

9 Nearly a third of the respondents expressed interest in a downloadable audio version of the Adventist Review that they can listen to while traveling or exercising. Another third did not respond and may simply not be aware of the technology involved. It appears that before this concept is seriously considered perhaps it would be well to do some focus group research with denominational employees in the Euro-Asia Division to demonstrate the product and allow a larger share of the respondents to make an educated decision about the usefulness of this type of media. 9

10 No single type of article or feature is read by a majority of the respondents. Nearly half read articles about theology and Biblical studies and more than a third report that they usually read news reports, Spirit of Prophecy materials, and Adventist Life features. Nearly a third regularly read the Story section. Only small numbers of respondents indicated reading the other types of articles listed. 10

11 About a third of respondents say that Dixil Rodriquez and Andy Nash are columnists they read frequently. One in four say the same about Delbert Baker and Cliff Goldstein. Surprisingly, Andrew McChesney, who lives in and writes from Moscow, rates among the lowest level of response. Perhaps this indicates the need for some discussion by the editorial staff. 11

12 More than four out of five respondents say that they have seen stories from their region in the Adventist Review. The majority do not indicate that they have seen such stories on more than one occasions which may indicate a perception of a lack of materials originating from within the Euro-Asia Division. 12

13 The majority of the church leaders in this sample evaluate three kinds of articles as excellent, the most positive response on a five-part scale. These include Spirit of Prophecy materials, articles on Biblical studies and Adventist Life pieces. The majority of respondents rated all the other types of articles as either excellent or good, although a third of the church leaders responding to this survey indicate they are not sure about the columns published in the Russian version of the Adventist Review. 13

14 The majority of the respondents in this sample are department directors. Another 46 percent of the respondents are administrators about equally spread among presidents, secretariat and institutional leadership. No respondents indicated that they were treasurers. 14

15 The majority of the respondents in this survey are middle-aged, 49 to 67 years of age in About a third are in the generation behind these leaders, 33 to 48 years of age in Very small numbers are young adults under 33 years of age or senior citizens over 67 years of age. 15

16 About one in six of the leaders in this survey indicate that they are women. Although this is a significantly higher percentage of women in church leadership than is true in many places in the Seventh-day Adventist Church around the world, it still leaves a vast majority of men. 16

17 Two thirds of the church leaders responding to this survey have completed a graduate degree. It is likely that some of those in the Other category were educated in another profession or occupation and may have specialized training equivalent to higher education. Overall, this indicates a very high level of education among the leadership of the Adventist Church in the Euro-Asia Division and clearly demonstrates the value that Adventists place on education. It also indicates that these respondents may have an interest in more sophisticated reading materials. 17

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