Two months ago a survey was sent to English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French readers on the email list of Urantia Association International. This survey was created with the goal to find better ways to serve the growing community of study groups, and with the objective to find the different characteristics inherent in the many kinds of study groups existing throughout the world.
On behalf of the Study Group Committee I’d like to thank everyone who devoted a few minutes of their time to respond to this survey.
I’d like to share a summary of this survey with you so you can—in your own ways—find some answers or solutions that may make your study groups more responsive to the needs of different kinds of readers and cultures.
One question that is often raised by readers is, “Where are the young students?” Another question is, “How can we interest our youth to participate in study groups?” I invite you to read the comments that have been published in this newsletter that were made by Alice Wood and Cheryl Glicker in response to these two questions.
From this survey, which was sent to 3,744 readers in four different languages, we received a total of 550 responses, which is a 14.69% response. We hoped there would have been more respondents to the survey, so we could have gathered a more accurate picture of the interests of Urantia Book readers in relation to study groups.
Here are some basic average percentages from the survey but keep in mind that some participants did not answer every question. To get a better picture, consult the results of the survey by following the provided links at the end of this summary:
30% of participants in study groups were women
1%: 18 to 25, 4%: 26 to 35, 25%: 36 to 50, 69%: 51 and older
48% of participants in the survey are members of a study group
62% of the groups are listed in the Study Group Directory
23% of participants host a study group
65% participate in face-to-face study groups
25% participate in virtual study groups
10% participate in both virtual and face-to-face study groups
Perceived Benefits of Study Groups
70% Expanded cosmic consciousness
75% Enhanced spiritual perception
65% Enhanced intellectual understanding
62% Other benefits
Frequency of Attending Study Groups
47% once a week
13% every second week
39% once a month
Number of Participants in Study Groups
21% between 3 and 5
47% between 5 and 10
16% between 10 and 15
17% 15 and more
Young People in Study Groups Between the Ages of 18 to 24
35% responded yes
Which methodologies or themes do you consider more attractive to young people?
12% Practical study
32% Life enhancing study
5% Sequential reading
17% Topical study
29% Do not know
Reasons for not participating in a study group
40% None available in my area
20% Lack of time
Intend to participate or to start a study group in the near future
If you would like to consult the complete results of the survey, please follow these links:
Many answers on how to improve study groups can be gleaned from the analysis of this survey and some solutions are more evident than others, such as improving the visibility and access in the Study Groups Directory. Another is to provide more support for readers wishing to find a study group.
The Study Group Committee of the Association will have a more in-depth look at the results of this survey, but we invite you to make your own analysis and find ways to improve your group and to attract more women and young readers.
Gaetan G. Charland
Study Group Chair
Urantia Association International