About CPCA and LifeWay Research

The Church Planter Candidate Assessment (CPCA) is a statistically validated online assessment instrument which helps potential church planters and their respective organizations identify areas of established strength and other areas needing development as they prepare to plant a church.

Where to start:


Church Planters

  1. Determine if you are taking the CPCA as an individual or with an associate church planting organization.
  2. Purchase survey.
  3. Register, log in and take survey.
  4. Results are shared with the individual and with their associate organization when applicable.

Church Planting Organizations

  1. Log in to see completed assessments.
  2. Sign up as an associate organization.



Ed Stetzer introduces the Church Planter Candidate Assessment

Research Methodology:

Everyone in church planting has an opinion, from the planter to the coach to the members on a launch team. The goal of LifeWay Research was to determine what commonalities could be ascertained from among those successful in church planting. The Church Planter Candidate Assessment (CPCA) is a statistically validated assessment tool. CPCA provides over 20 reliable scales which accurately measure key church planting characteristics identified by church planting experts. Over half of these scales have proven predictive of specific church growth measures. In order to learn about church planters, their successes and biggest challenges, LifeWay Research:

  1. Studied the personality profiles of 50 identified successful church planters to begin the research.
  2. Interviewed 30 church planting assessment experts on the qualities and characteristics that are most common in their successful church planters.
  3. Conducted three waves of quantitative testing on instrument questions (which were reviewed by respected church planting leaders) on over 500 church planters and pastors.
  4. Identified statistically significant characteristics common to successful church planters.



"The Assemblies of God has looked for an effective tool to help potential planters consider their call early on in their planting journey," said Steve Pike, director of the Assemblies of God Church Multiplication Network. "This tool is what we've been looking for."

"Clear, insightful, and to the point."
- Peter Sung
Director of Church Planting, Evangelical Covenant Church

"The Evangelical Free Church partnered on this because we love planters," said George Klippenes, church planting director of the Evangelical Free Church."This tool helps us to help them discern their call as they consider church planting."

"We are so thankful that we invested in the CPCA and are loving the assessment tool it has produced. We have already had several take it and we believe it will be an excellent resource for our assessment process in the BMAA for years to come."
-Larry Barker
Baptist Missionary Association of America

"Finally we have a tool that is "predictive" of success for a church planter candidate - in terms of actual attendance growth and conversion rate."
- Dr. Larry Sherman
Director of Church Planting, Great Lakes Conference of Evangelical Covenant Churches

"NAMB has gladly partnered with LifeWay Research to help study church planters and develop the CPCA. We believe that the better self-understanding a planter has, the better engaged that planter and church can be with the Great Commission work of the church."
- Kevin Ezell,
President, North American Mission Board

"The CPCA helped me process where I am at right now. It identified what I know I am doing well but also showed me where I need to develop. It's good."
- Shane,
Church Planter, Madison, Tennessee

LifeWay Research

LifeWay Research was launched by Dr. Thom S. Rainer and LifeWay Christian Resources for the purpose of assisting and equipping church leaders with insight and advice that will lead to greater levels of church health and effectiveness. Dr. Ed Stetzer currently serves as president of LifeWay Research.

LifeWay Research
Ed Stetzer's Blog
Church Planter Candidate Assessment
Transformational Church
Transformational Discipleship Assessment

Individuals who are ready to take the CPCA can purchase a passcode in one of two ways:



Organizations not yet registered with the CPCA or one of the sponsoring organizations can try it out by purchasing a passcode at LifeWay.com. For more information on becoming a CPCA organization, you can email churchplanting@LifeWay.com.


Need help?

If you need help while purchasing the CPCA, you can contact LifeWay's customer service at

LifeWay.com Technical Support

Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. CT 
Monday - Friday
(866) 627-8553
Chat support is available

Monday - Wednesday: 
07:30 AM - 05:00 PM CDT

09:15 AM - 05:00 PM CDT

Friday:  07:30 AM - 05:00 PM CDT

Saturday - Sunday:  Closed
Live Online Chat Support


After purchasing the passcode, and clicking the "activate membership link" in your order summary, our team can help with any challenges you might have registering the passcode. You can check out the helpful links page or email us at Kevin.Walker@LifeWay.com. 


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Church Planter Candidate Assessment