Presbyterian survey finds members aging, overwhelmingly white

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A survey of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) found most of its members believe Jesus is "the only absolute truth," but many also reject the idea that only followers of Christ will be saved.

The study also found that the denomination's members are generally middle-aged and overwhelmingly white, while about half said they were Republican.

The findings are from a survey the Presbyterians' research division conducted of about 3,500 lay people and clergy between October of last year and January.

About 70 percent of congregants and pastors surveyed said that Christ was "the only absolute truth," while just above 40 percent believed that Jesus was the single path to salvation.

The study also found that the median age for members and elders is 55, and that more than 90 percent of respondents identified themselves as white. About 55 percent of members and elders said they were Republicans.

The study, released last month, also found that women comprise 61 percent of the 2.5 million-member denomination, while most of the clergy are men.