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Links to studies & reports

Links to studies & reports

For research and presentations

Statistics on Recent Vocations

Use this handout in presentations and articles to inform the public as well as members of your religious institute about recent vocations to religious life and ordained ministry. Click here.

NRVC/CARA studies & reports

2015 Study on the Role of the Family in Nurturing Vocations to Religious Life and Priesthood

2014 Study on Incorporating Cultural Diversity in Religious Life

Executive Summary

2014 Men Religious Moving Forward in Hope Final Report

2014 Men Religious Moving Forward in Hope Final Report

2013 Women Religious Moving Forward in Hope Final Report

2013 Moving Forward in Hope: Keys to the Future Final Report

2013 Handbook on Educational Debt & Vocations to Religious Life

2012 Study on Educational Debt and Vocations to Religious Life

         Executive Summary

2009 Study on Recent Vocations to Religious Life

Executive Summary, English

Executive Summary, Spanish


USCCB/CARA studies & reports


The Class of 2016: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood

       Ordination Class of 2016 Press Release

The Class of 2015: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood                     

The Class of 2014: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood

The Class of 2013: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood

The Class of 2012: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood

The Class of 2011: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood

The Class of 2010: Survey of Ordination to the Priesthood

The Profession Class of 2016 Report

          Profession Class of 2016 News Release

The Profession Class of 2015 Report

The Profession Class of 2014 Report                             

The Profession Class of 2013 Report

The Profession Class of 2012 Report

The Profession Class of 2011 Report

The Profession Class of 2010 Report

The Entrance Class of 2015: Women and Men Entering Religious Life Report. This CARA report presents the findings of a survey of women and men who formally entered a US-based religious congregation, province, or monastery in 2015.

2012 Study on the Consideration of Priesthood and Religious Life among Never-Married U.S. Catholics


Mini-articles by CARA based on vocation studies

Age of newly professed religious

When do Catholics consider a vocation?

Parent religion of newly professed

Which vocation programs have new members taken part in?

Important religious activities in the family







Relevant vocation studies and analyses

2016 USCCB Cultural Diversity in the Catholic Church Report "The Catholic Church in the United States has always been a very diverse entity, but it is the first time that all available data was brought together to map this diversity nationwide in remarkable detail," said Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio, chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church. "It is also the first time that parish life was looked at from the point of view of the experience of diversity. Multicultural parishes are a growing phenomenon in the United States. This is what makes this study so fascinating and ground-breaking."

2016 CARA Impact of College Experience on Vocational Discernment In this special report, CARA identifies various aspects of the college experience that the respondents tell us were important in their vocational discernment

2016 Religous Life Vitality Project: Key Project Findings Report was written by Catherine Sexton and Sr. Gemma Simmonds, CJ. The purpose of this document is to present six key findings of signs of vitality in women's religious institutes: Ministry; Community and Formative Growth; Collaborative Working; Prayer and Spirituality; New Forms of Membership; and How we are aging.

2016 CARA Catholic Ministry Formation Enrollment Statistics This CARA Study reports that during academic year 2015-2016, enrollment in the post-baccalaureate level of priestly formation totaled 3,520, a decrease of 4 percent (130 seminarians) from last year’s theologate enrollment of 3,650. Of these, 2,708 (77 percent) were candidates for dioceses and 812 (23 percent) were from religious orders. Diocesan enrollment decreased by 91 seminarians from last year’s total and religious enrollment decreased by 39 seminarians. 

FADICA 2015 analysis of Catholic sisters This December 2015 report was published by Foundation and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities, Inc. (FADICA) and written by Kathleen Sprows Cummings of University of Notre Dame. This report provides an overview and analysis of the current state of Catholic women religious in the U.S.

2015 CARA Frequently Requested Church Statistics This weblink contains all relevant statistics including the fact that there are over 1 million sisters, brothers, and priests in our world today (705,529 sisters, 53,314 brothers, and 414,313 priests). 

2015 CARA Population Trends among Religious Insitutes of Men CARA undertook this longitudinal study of population trends in men’s religious institutes to investigate in more detail some of the trends over the past 45 years.

2015 Catholic Sisters Initiative, Anderson Robbins Report This research funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, was designed to understand the general public’s attitudes, opinions and experiences with Catholic Sisters in the United States. Specifically, this research sought to answer the following key questions: What does the general public think about Catholic Sisters? That is, what opinions, beliefs and perceptions (as well as misperceptions) define Catholic Sisters in the minds of the general public today?  

2015 CARA Catholic Ministry Formation Enrollment Statistics This CARA Study reports that during the academic year 2014-2015 there was increase of 19 seminarians enrolled in the post-baccalaureate level of priestly formation, both diocesan and religious. The Catholic Ministry Formation Directory can be ordered by clicking here.

2014 CARA Population Trends among Religious Institutes of Women In spring 2014, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) initiated a longitudinal study of women religious in the United States drawing on data reported by the religious institutes of women listed in the Official Catholic Directory (OCD). This report provides a snapshot of some notable phenomena occurring in U.S. religious institutes of women. 

2013 CARA Study of Former Full-time Volunteers of the Catholic Volunteer Network This CARA Study reports 37% of former full-time volunteers have considered religious life or the priesthood, 27% of them "very seriously." Six percent have a vocation as a priest, deacon, sister, brother, or are currently in formation.

2012 CARA Study on the Influence of College Experiences on Vocational Discernment to Priesthood and Religious Life This CARA Study was designed to assess the role and influence of Catholic colleges and universities on the vocational discernment of men entering the seminary and religious life in the United States. Almost two-thirds of respondents overall state that a priest/sister/brother professor had a “significant positive influence” on their vocational discernment. 

2012 USCCB/CARA Consideration of Priesthood and Religious Life among Never-Married U.S. Catholics This study found that encouragement from others to consider a vocation to religious life is important. Respondents who have one person encouraging them are nearly twice as likely to consider a vocation as those who are not encouraged. Each additional person encouraging these respondents increases the likelihood of consideration. The effect is additive.  Respondents who had three persons encourage them would be expected to be more than five times more likely to consider a vocation than someone who was not encouraged by anyone. 

2010 NCEA/CARA Study of Psychological Assessment: The Testing and Screening for Candidates to the Priesthood in the  U.S. Catholic ChurchThis CARA study conducted by the NCEA Seminary Department examines the psychological assessment practices and procedures used by dioceses, men's religious institutes, and seminaries in the testing and screening of applicants to priestly formation programs in the United States.

2007 Young Adult Catholics and their Future in Ministry Study This study by Dean R. Hoge and Marti Jewell revealed a high percentage of college students involved in campus ministry or diocesan young adult ministry have seriously considered becoming a religious or a diocesan priest.

1992 Future of Religious Orders in the United States Study This three year study of religious institutes of priests, brothers and sisters conducted by Fr. David Nygren, C.M. and Sr. Miriam Ukeritis, C.S.J., is considered the first in-depth study of religious institutes in the United States. It is also known as the Religious Life Futures Project.

1991 A Survey of Priests Ordained Five to Nine Years by Eugene F. Hemrick and Dean R. Hoge. Published by the National Catholic Education Association. This report presents the findings of a national survey of diocesan and religious priests who were ordained between 1980 and 1984. The questionnaire issued to the respondents asked about three topics of concern to Catholic Church leadership: priestly morale, priestly identity, and priestly roles.

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NRVC Member Area


February-March 2017 

Member area meetings

February 2: Delaware Valley, February 6-7: Southwest; March 6: Mid-Atlantic, March 27: Hudson Valley

NFCRV Applications accepted

January 9 - March 13, 2017

NRVC Board applications accepted

Deadline is March 1

Vocation Ambasssadors Program Applications accepted

February 1 - March 25

Renew your NRVC membership