The Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT) has been developed by Holy Cow! Consulting.  It's a survey-based tool that is grounded in over 20 years of experience.  Steeped in the theory of Organizational Intelligence, the CAT provides leadership clear insights into congregational vitality. 

When to use the CAT? 

  • While doing strategic planning and visioning

  • When you wish to gauge your congregation's readiness for change

  • During Pastoral Transition in partnership with the COM

  • Prior to a building or capital fund campaign

How much does it cost?  The cost of this instrument is based on your average worship attendance.

  • $415 plus interpretation (35-149 persons)

  • $515 plus interpretation (150-499 persons)

  • $620 plus interpretation (500-749 persons)

  • $750 plus interpretation (750-999 persons)

  • $1000 plus interpretation (1000+ persons)

The Presbytery offers matching grants to cover half the cost of the survey - plus we have trained Interpreters who volunteer their talents.  To apply for a grant please complete  Part 1 and Part 2 and follow the instructions for submission.

How do we begin?

  • Contact Rev. Tara Spuhler McCabe at to schedule a short "Introduction to the CAT" for your Session. If they choose to move forward, please let Tara know so she can help you schedule a time for Interpretation. You choose your date... we try to match Intepreters for that date! The sooner you are able to do this, the more flexible we can be in scheduling!

  • Contact Robyn at Holy Cow! Consulting to begin the process of setting up your survey. Holy Cow has full directions on how to advertise your survey, administer it and 'tweak' it to make it your own. In addition to the standard survey (some 80 questions), you can also fine tune your CAT by adding two different modules - from Communications to Financial Campaigns, etc.

  • Administer the CAT and have your VitalSigns interpreted by Interpreters.

Suggested timeline?

Weeks 1 – 3  -  CAT is introduced to the congregation via announcements in Worship, emails, website, social media, etc.

Weeks 4 – 5  -  CAT is administered to church and additional data is gathered and submitted to Holy Cow

Week 6   - CAT is Interpreted to the Session

Week 7/8 -  CAT is interpreted to the Congregation via the Session (often during/after worship)

If your church is nimble with communications, you can shorten the first section to 2 weeks.  It’s really important to make sure that folks know what is happening, AND to make sure that everyone has a chance to respond.  Once the materials are submitted to Holy Cow, their turnaround time is only a day or so, however, the Interpreters need at least a week to chew through all the data and to plan the presentation.

Let the Presbytery know as soon as possible when you’ve decided on dates.  There have been a few occasions when I’ve not been able to find Interpreters for requested dates and that’s caused Sessions to have to delay their meeting with the Congregation.