Disciple Maker Index Resources

About The Disciple Maker Index

The Disciple Maker Index was developed by Catholic Leadership Institute in 2013 with the guidance and input of our Bishops and Priests, and the expertise of professional survey teams to be an instrument that is statistically sound while at the same time focusing on important aspects of our Catholic Faith.

The Disciple Maker Index (DMI) is an anonymous survey of parishioners that provides insights into the level of missionary discipleship in the parish in addition to the effectiveness of the Mass experience, preaching and other aspects of the parish.

The data results are visualized for parish and diocesan views, and include benchmark information based on all parishes in the database. The benchmark of parishes of similar size or in similar environments provides a national perspective to local results. The survey and results were designed so that parishes can repeat the Disciple Maker Index every 2 to 3 years to see changes over time through longitudinal data comparison.

Data from the Disciple Maker Index is intended to be used as input to planning, to help parishes identify key strengths and areas of opportunity, which can be further refined into Priorities and Goals for the parish. CLI Leadership consultants guide parish leaders in the process of reviewing the data and identifying possible goals.

About These Resources

This page provides a guide to various resources that Catholic Leadership Institute has curated to help your parish make progress on any priorities you might have identified in response to your DMI results. These resources are broken down by what we refer to as the Big Outcome Questions. We also have resources to help you create your plan. You can use the links at the top of the page to navigate to the section you are interested in.

See below for what CLI considers the big three Outcome Questions.

CLI's Big 3 Outcome Questions

Of the 75 Disciple Maker Index Questions, Catholic Leadership Institute identified 3 that we would consider “outcome questions” – overall measurements for the health of the parish and are indicative of growth.

These 3 Outcome Questions are:

  • I would recommend my parish to a friend
  • My parish helps me grow spiritually as a Catholic
  • How frequently does a parishioner share their personal witness with another person?


CLI has done further statistical analysis discover what drives people to say these things about their parish. This is how your report is structured. You have the ability to dive into all the questions but we think it is prudent to start here.

Navigate to the Outcome Question you would like to dive more deeply into to view a video about what regression analysis has shown to be key drivers for that particular question, and find additional resources based on that Outcome Question.

We are frequently adding to these resources and more will be available as our Leadership Consultants bring forward new ideas and insights!

Find out what drives people to recommend their parish to a friend

If you’ve been to any store in the last week, rented a car, even been to the doctors, they would ask you this question. In market research, this question is THE survey question. The likelihood to recommend has been identified as the best predictor of any organization’s future growth or decline. This question also helps to provide information on your parish's relationship and engagement with parishioners.

Find out what drives people to recommend their parish and more resources on this topic.

Discover what leads people to say their parish helps them grow spiritually as a Catholic

Your parish is not just another store or service provider. Our Church has a deeper mission. We also identified “My parish helps me grow spiritually as a Catholic” as another outcome question. A good metric of the parish’s health and the effectiveness of your parish in forming the faith of your parishioners.

Find out what drives people to say their parish helps them grow spiritually and more resources on this topic.

Learn what impacts people to say they have shared their personal witness story

Finally, to try to assess the spirit of Missionary Discipleship, we looked at one of the frequency questions – “How frequently does a parishioner share their personal witness with another person” as one way to understand the spirit of Missionary Discipleship in your community.

Find out what drives people to say they share their witness story and more resources on this topic.

View CLI's Planning Resources

The Disciple Maker Index is intended as a tool to help your parish community identify potential priorities with measurable data. Throughout our nearly 30 year history we have helped parishes and dioceses develop priority plans and have a number of resources available to help you in using the DMI to help your parish grow into the future.

Click here to find some resources on parish planning.