ELCA Research and Evaluation . . . where the church counts!
Research and Evaluation (RE) is a section in the Office of the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). RE is responsible for gathering and analyzing data about ELCA members, clergy, congregations, affiliates and associates. These data may be of a sensitive or personal nature, and could be damaging or embarrassing to groups or individuals if they are used by or exposed to inappropriate persons. Part of RE’s responsibility to the ELCA is to manage these data in a safe, confidential, and productive way. In keeping with this responsibility, respondents are given a pledge of confidentiality.
RE defines confidentiality as no more or less than limiting access by others to data that could be linked to individual participants. The pledge of confidentiality offered by RE means RE will take every reasonable step to ensure that the data collected by RE are used exclusively for the purposes for which they were collected. RE will control personal identifiers or other information linking particular respondents to specific responses. RE will also protect the physical data itself by controlling and limiting the number and type of individuals that have access to it. When appropriate and necessary in the reporting of data, RE will apply statistical techniques to further ensure that individual respondents will not or cannot be identified.
RE is committed to the highest ethical standards of research practice and RE will not knowingly act in any way that may harm, humiliate, or seriously mislead those who choose to participate in its research endeavors.
April 13, 1989
[Ratified by the Church Council, April 17, 1989]