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Research on Church Growth and Decline

Church and Denominational Growth:  What Does (and does not) Cause Growth or Decline (1993)
An out of print book Edited by David A. Roozen and C. Kirk Hadaway
After nearly 20 years of embrace, resistance, ambivalence and application of the so-called church growth movement (or, from some perspectives, the church growth debacle), Roozen and Hadaway return with over a dozen impartial experts to examine the claims about what was happening, what was working, and who was helping to grow denominations and congregations in the USA and Canada.

The following studies of congregational life may offer insight and information on church growth and decline:

Faith Communities Today
The largest survey of congregations ever conducted in the United States, this project seeks to enhance the capacity of participating faith groups to conduct and use congregational research.  Data on growth and decline of congregations is among the topics reported on and discussed.  This project was directed by David Roozen and Carl Dudley of Hartford Institute. 

The U.S. Congregational Life Survey Project
This study is the largest and most representative profile of worshipers and their congregations ever developed in the United States. More than half a million church goers and 7,000 congregations participated in the project in April 2001. The principle investigator for the United States portion of this study is Cynthia A. Woolever.  

National Congregations Study
Conducted by Dr. Mark Chaves, this was the first religious study to use a new sampling methodology technique to generate a high-quality, nationally representative sample of congregations.  You may also read an in-depth description of the project on this site.




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