Contrary to some readers' impressions, Christianity Today staff—as versatile as we may be—do not actually conduct the survey. Best Christian Workplaces Institute, a human-resources consulting firm, does.

After the institute solicited self-nominations from Christian workplaces, employees in each organization filled out a confidential online survey. Administrators provided details of human-resources practices from workplaces that have a Christian mission statement.

To avoid the unfairness that goes with, say, comparing an 18-employee public-relations firm with an 80-employee nonprofit, the participants were broken up into 11 categories. The survey polled more than 8,403 employees from 84 organizations. After independent judges weighed the data in a "blind" process, the list of 40 emerged. (The names of the nonfinalists are confidential.) Because some categories were larger than others, the list names the number of finalists proportionate to the size of each group.

The panel of judges included Olan Hendrix, ceo, Leadership Resource Group; John Pearson, ceo, Christian Management Association; Ken Smitherman, ceo, Association of Christian Schools International; and Helen Lee, who approached Christianity Today several years ago with the idea of conducting the survey and later cofounded the Best Christian Workplaces Institute.

The 2005 Survey Winners

Products and Services (90 or more employees)
1Alliance Defense FundScottsdale, Arizona
2 Evangelical Christian Credit Union • Brea, California

Products and Services (89 or fewer employees)
1DeMoss Group, Inc.Duluth, Georgia
2 MPower Systems • Plano, Texas
3 (now Silas Partners) • Alexandria, Virginia
4 Partners International • Spokane, Washington

Higher Education (300 or more employees)
1Bethel UniversitySaint Paul, Minnesota
2 Cedarville University • Cedarville, Ohio
3 Olivet Nazarene University • Bourbonnais, Illinois
4 Columbia International University • Columbia, South Carolina

Higher Education (150 through 299 employees)
1Evangel UniversitySpringfield, Missouri
2 California Baptist University • Riverside, California
3 The Master's College • Santa Clarita, California

Higher Education (149 or fewer employees)
1Phoenix SeminaryScottsdale, Arizona
2 The Master's Seminary • Sun Valley, California

Private Schools, K-12 (70 and more employees)
1Evangelical Christian SchoolCordova, Tennessee
1Scottsdale Christian AcademyPhoenix, Arizona
2 Briarcrest Christian School System • Memphis, Tennessee
3 Fredericksburg Christian Schools • Fredericksburg, Virginia
4 Indian Rocks Christian Schools • Largo, Florida
5 Friends Christian School • Yorba Linda, California

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Private Schools, K-12 (69 or fewer employees)
1Stoneybrooke Christian SchoolsSan Juan Capistrano, California
2 Desert Christian Schools • Tucson, Arizona
3 Wheaton Academy • West Chicago, Illinois
4 Covenant Life School • Gaithersburg, Maryland

Media (150 or more employees)
1ZondervanGrand Rapids, Michigan

Media (149 or fewer employees)
1Howard Publishing, Inc.West Monroe, Louisiana
2 Xulon Press, Inc. • Fairfax, Virginia
3 InterVarsity Press • Downers Grove, Illinois

Churches, Parachurches, and Missions (120 or more employees)
1Coalition for Christian OutreachPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2 Kensington Community Church • Troy, Michigan
3 Church Resource Ministries • Anaheim, California

Churches, Parachurches, and Missions (50 through 119 employees)
1Medical Ambassadors InternationalModesto, California
2 Christian Cultural Center • Brooklyn, New York
3 Pioneers • Orlando, Florida
4 CityTeam Ministries • San Jose, California

Churches, Parachurches, and Missions (49 or fewer employees)
1Apartment LifeEuless, Texas
2 New Mission Systems International • Fort Myers, Florida
3 Church Extension Plan • Salem, Oregon
4 Amor Ministries • San Diego, California

Related Elsewhere:

The 40 Best Christian Places to Work| How the winners of the third annual survey earned their employees' loyalty.

Last year's Best Workplaces articles included:

The 50 Best Christian Places to Work | The second annual survey highlights companies that focus on building a culture of trust. (April 23, 2004)
The Complete List & A Closer Look at the Top Finalists | Christianity Today salutes four finalists in ten categories. (April 23, 2004)
How They Were Chosen | Independent panel weighed employee surveys. (April 23, 2004)
Too Much Information? | Communication is necessary, but avoid information overload. (April 23, 2004)

Our 2003 series included:

Inside CT: Great Places to Work | There is indeed much to praise and imitate in the Christian companies. (Feb. 28, 2003)
The 40 Best Christian Places to Work | What makes them so good? (Hint: Not money) (Feb. 28, 2003)
The Complete List & A Closer Look at the Top Finalists | Christianity Today salutes four finalists in ten categories. (Feb. 28, 2003)
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Best Christian Places to Work: Co-CEO Synergy | Sharing leadership works at Christian Medical and Dental Associations. (March 03, 2003)
Best Christian Places to Work: Rigorous Hiring | Group Publishing places importance on the quality of the product and its staff. (March 04, 2003)
Best Christian Places to Work: People of the Hugs | Howard Publishing's pajama day, adoption support, and National Hugging Day celebrations create a family-like ambiance. (March 05, 2003)
Best Christian Places to Work: Freedom and Grace | Covenant Christian High School teachers and staff are encouraged to be creative, lead classes in innovative ways, and take initiative. (March 06, 2003)
Best Christian Places to Work: Lives in Balance | At Evangelical Christian Credit Union, professional development is not just a nice bonus but also a spiritual responsibility. (March 07, 2003)
Best Christian Places to Work: What Burnout? | The Coalition for Christian Outreach takes seriously its responsibility to care for employees. (March 10, 2003)
Best Christian Places to Work: No Prayer, No Results | Medical Ambassadors International's emphasis on praying creates a strong sense of commitment. (March 11, 2003)
Best Christian Places to Work: President in Sweats | Leadership's informal style reflects an atmosphere of openness on the Whitworth College campus. (March 12, 2003)
Best Christian Places to Work: Practicing What They Teach | Dallas Theological Seminary and Multnomah Bible College and Seminary share a philosophy on managing employees. (March 13, 2003)
Best Christian Places to Work: Shepherding Hearts | Phoenix Seminary focuses on mentoring the balance of head knowledge with character development. (March 14, 2003)

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