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Vol. II, No. 6

Denominational Growth and Decline

Within a few months the latest Glenmary denominational religious census will be out in the book entitled Religious Congregations and Memberships 2000.  We'll be reporting some of the key findings then. 

In preparation for that much anticipated release we wanted to highlight sources of information on denominational growth and decline.  The Institute just put one of the best academic works on the subject on its web site.  The out-of-print book Church and Denominational Growth:  What Does (and does not) Cause Growth or Decline edited by David Roozen and Kirk Hadaway can now be found in its entirety on the Institute web site.  The various chapters of this book contain scholarly information about the church growth movement's claims.  Over a dozen impartial experts joined with the editors to examine the claims about what is happening, what is working, and who is helping to grow denominations and congregations in the USA and Canada. There are some great insights in the 17 chapters of this book. 

Suggested Links

In addition to the chapters in Roozen's and Hadaway's book there are several other fine writings on church and denominational attendance and identity issues.  We have links for several of these below: 

"Mainline Churches:  The Real Reason for Decline" by Benton Johnson, Dean R. Hoge & Donald A. Luidens 

"Did You Really Go To Church This Week? Behind the Poll Data" by C. Kirk Hadaway and P.L. Marler

"Denominational Identity and Church Vitality."  By Scott Thumma 

A section of the Institute site is devoted to articles and research on  denominational growth and decline.  The site also has a section for denominational research.  Additionally our site has an extensive listing of official denominational home pages.  Also remember that the Faith Communities Today web site offers a large amount of research about religious groups in the United States. 

What's New on our site

A Quick Question about Denominational Identity

A Web Site Review for Emmanuel Church, Philadelphia, PA

The Entire Church and Denominational Growth Book Available for Download

Coming Soon!!

We will soon have an extensive searchable bibliography of sociology of religion books and articles and a directory of social science scholars studying religious groups and topics. 

By the end of the summer we hope to have the Handbook for Congregational Studies available online.   And, coming in September, Hartford Seminary will offer a online course taught by Jack Ammerman on the Classics of Spirituality.   Scott Thumma will offer a non-credit online educational event about Churches' use of the Web.  In the spring Nancy Ammerman will teach a for credit masters level course on how to study congregations. 



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