What do Pentecostal Clergy Believe? Observations Regarding the 2014 Survey of PAOC Credential Holders

PAOC then and nowIn October 2014 Dr. Adam Stewart and I conducted a survey of PAOC (Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada) credential holders that included questions regarding demographics, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours.

The report is not that long (and mostly tables), so I encourage you to read it.

Personal Reactions

  • Although I have already seen this in previous research, I was once again struck by the fact that the majority of current PAOC credential holders are over 50 years old, meaning we will need a lot more leaders soon when this age bracket eventually retires.
  • While I expected a slight shift, I was surprised by how significant the shift was in understanding the relationship of tongues to Spirit Baptism. In 1985/86, a strong majority of PAOC credential holders insisted that someone who has not spoken in tongues has not been baptized in the Holy Spirit. In contrast, just under half of credential holders today would make the same claim (although they still affirm initial evidence).
  • Given conversations during sessions where eschatology was discussed at the May 2014 PAOC General Conference, I was surprised at how high support remains among credential holders for the eschatology currently expressed in the PAOC’s Statement of Fundamental and Essential Truths, especially with respect to the rapture.
  • I was surprised by how significantly views have shifted regarding Christians drinking alcohol and also by how many credential holders have had one or more drinks in the past year.

Additional Features of the Report (the report covers many other issues too)

The report answers questions that some credential holders had about:

  • How we maintained confidentiality.
  • The rationale behind the questions that were included in the questionnaire.

Again, the initial report, “Highlights from the 2014 Survey of PAOC Credential Holders,” is now available to view online.

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3 thoughts on “What do Pentecostal Clergy Believe? Observations Regarding the 2014 Survey of PAOC Credential Holders

  1. This is very interesting data. I skimmed through the report and will confess I didn’t read your next steps closely, but some things that stuck out to me:

    – would the demographics of the current credential holders lend themselves to a more “conservative” viewpoint on – for example – eschatology and biblical literalism. I’d be interested to see how these views break down based on age of respondents.
    – the demographics do not surprise me, but they do concern me. Concern is the wrong word, but given 90% of credential holders are white and 80% are male, it seems to me that theology may be skewed given the limited input from other cultural viewpoints. It makes me think more work should be done to seek out these differing perspectives

    I was actually encouraged by some responses as they are more varied than I would have expected.

    Thanks for sharing this (and undertaking the project) as it is very interesting!


  2. So, if Jesus raptures the church while you are slugging a cold one, will you go in the Rapture? There’s a sermon for ya!