The World Guide to Religious and Spiritual Organizations 1st edition lists 3,495 associations, orders, fraternities, institutes, networks, programmes, and other bodies:
- whose purpose is to further religious and spiritual aims,
- whose orientation is directed to religious and spiritual concerns,
- whose activities centre on religious and spiritual concerns,
representing all major world faiths and spiritual movements.
These bodies were selected from the database maintained by the editors, the Union of International Associations, and which is also used for the production of the Yearbook of International Organizations. They were selected on the basis of their purpose, orientation, or activities, as determined by keywords used in their titles or descriptive entries, and classified according to the classification system used in Volume 3 of the Yearbook (Global Action Networks; Classified directory by subject and region), and which was also used to generate the subject index included in this volume.
The World Guide to Religious and Spiritual Organizations includes:
- the descriptive entries of these bodies, which may include the organization's history, purpose, activities, relations with other organizations, events, publications, and membership. This information is based on Volume 1 of the Yearbook;
- a geographical index to the first title, classified by each country in which there are members, and by the country or countries in which the secretariat (both principal and secondary) is located. This information is based on Volume 2 of the Yearbook;
- a subject index to the first title, classified by specific inter-disciplinary, regional, and organizational categrories. This information is based on Volume 3 of the Yearbook;
- a foundation date index to the first title, listing these organizations by the year in which they were founded.