In the second study, the confirmands, employees and pastors were again interviewed. As in the first study, over 600 representative congregations were selected by the GESIS Leibnitz Institute (Mannheim). Disproportionate numbers of cases in individual regional churches, caused for example by oversampling or particularly high/low response rates, were balanced out by weighting factors in the overall results. The selected survey units always included a group of confirmands from a congregation that was confirmed in 2013, as well as all full-time and volunteer employees responsible for this group. Following a preliminary survey of the basic data of the participating congregations (t0), they received questionnaires for confirmands, staff and pastors in July/August 2012 (t1) and spring 2013 (t2) – and thus about six weeks before confirmation. In this part of the study, the expectations of and experiences with confirmation work, as well as fundamental attitudes towards faith and the church and the changes they have undergone in the course of the Confirmation period, were the main focus of the study. However, all the groups questioned were particularly interested in the experiences with voluntary commitment within and outside the church. In addition, new questions were used, for example on worship.
In the second study, a further questionnaire (“t3”) was sent in 2015 to those confirmers who agreed to it. Two years after confirmation, the former confirmands were asked to give a retrospective assessment of the 2012/2013 confirmation period and their experiences with voluntary work and the church. In this way, the t3 questionnaire could be sent to about 5000 young people in Germany. About 2500 young people answered.
In its capacity as a follow-up study, the second study also enabled a comparison of time series at national and international level (for t1 and t2), which for the first time allowed differentiated statements to be made about current developments and trends in the practice of confirmation work within the past five years. The survey of young people two years after confirmation (t3) and the qualitative accompanying studies brought the long-term effects of confirmation work and thus the sustainability of this educational offer into focus.
The study was supported by all Protestant Regional Churches in Germany. The study was scientifically accompanied by an advisory board with representatives from science, church management and ALPIKA institutes.