Articles that have to deal with training researchers

Research Courses Available on the OC Learning Center

The OC Learning Center strives to produce effective and relevant training so that harvesters are fully prepared and equipped for every good work that the Lord has prepared. Several of these free online courses are about research. Although the heading says "Finding Your Way with OC Research" much of the training is broadly applicable, such as "The Biblical Basis for Research" or "Spiritual Warfare" found in Level One or "An Overview of the Research Process" in Level Two.

You can review all ten of our course offerings at If you want to take a course, register as our guest. One of our instructors will accompany you as learn.

Looking for some training that you are not finding? Send us an email, and we will try to connect you with the training you desire. Also consider the research mentoring services we provide.


A Cry for Intimacy: Insight for Training Christian Leaders

What are the training needs of South Africa’s Christian leadership? The need for training Church leaders in South Africa has been apparent for many years, but an accurate and comprehensive picture of the needs facing Christian leaders across South Africa has previously never been adequately researched… until now!

A Cry for Intimacy documents the responses from 800 South African pastoral leaders. OC workers in South Africa helped facilitate this extensive research project conducted by TOPIC (Trainers of Pastors International Coalition) Southern Africa involves ten years of scientifically verifiable research. Authors Willie Botha, David Bulger and Karl Teichert provide vital information for the future of the church in South Africa. It answers a number of key questions, including what gaps exist and what urgent needs face Christian leaders in various locations, denominations and cultural segments. It lays a critical foundation for addressing these needs and provides stimulus for further research.

The surprising discovery of the research was that the greatest felt need of South African Church leaders was intimacy with God. This was mentioned twice as often as the next felt need.

New Online Research Training at the OC Learning Center

Level 2.0 of our online research training is now available at the OC Learning Center.

    Module 2.1 focuses on the purposes of mission research
    Module 2.2 provides a overview of a ten step process used in mission research

Modules under development will provide indepth training related to each step of the research process.

Also check out our research wiki for other resources related to research training.


Second Level of Training for Mission Information Workers Now Available for BETA Testing

The first two modules that make up the second level of training for Mission Information Workers are now available for BETA testing. These modules, which address The Purpose for OC Research and The Research Process, are downloadable from this page.

Level 2 of Finding Your Way with OC Research has in view Mission Information Workers, Field Researchers and Team Leaders already involved in field ministry. Mission Information Workers and Field Researchers are included because they are providers of strategic information. Team Leaders are also included in this training because they are users of strategic information and thus need to understand the purpose and process of mission research. As leaders, they also need to encourage the entire ministry team to value, gather and use good information.

Finding Your Way in OC Research Course Now Online

A nine part online introduction to research is offered through the OC Learning Center. This course is recommended for all new OC field missionaries and is also open to other workers.

Research is foundational to OC’s stated organizational strategy: “Using Research, Motivation and Training we Mobilize the Christian leaders to reach their nations and beyond.” OC believes that the primary outcome of research is to provide a basis for decision making for a team ministry to the church and for carrying out the other three categories of our strategy: motivation, training, and mobilization. Research is intricately and fundamentally interwoven with team ministries on the field and even with individual ministry opportunities.


Interpreting Average Annual Growth Rates (AAGRs)

Determining the Average Annual Growth Rates for a church or a group of churches in a region allows us to establish where the Church is growing, either in the number of believers or number of churches, and where it is not. In other words, the AAGRs establish the FACTS of Church growth; but the Church Growth Analyst also wants to understand the FACTORS causing this growth or decline. To determine the FACTORS, further investigation is needed.

Worker to Population Ratios as a Measure of Engagement

In the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, the worker to Population Ratio was a statistic often used evaluate of how "engaged" a non Christian population was.

Data Analysis Techniques

Describing how to do data analysis is not easy. There is really no recipe to follow. There are some basic techniques and principles to learn. There are some pitfalls to avoid. But beyond that there is just the task of careful and meticulous thought and imagination. There is no formula for that.

It is important, at this stage, to recruit the help and opinions of insiders in the population under study. Their observations will come from the world-view of the respondents. This may yield explanations quite different from those of an outsider.

Ethical Guidelines for Research

Good ethical practices in research are vital to:


Sampling is used in some research projects and it is important to get this critical part of a research project done as well as possible. Some basic concepts of sampling will be covered here.


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