Future of Denominations

Christian denominations in the United States must focus not on surviving short-term but thriving long-term. To deliver on their promise, denominations face questions about their mission, vision and strategies.

  • Reflection
    January 15, 2013 | Jonathan Haidt’s “The Righteous Mind” adds texture to the current conversation about mainline decline. It presses us, a pastor writes, to reclaim and talk about all of the moral foundations of our faith.
  • Multimedia
    November 19, 2012 | Recent studies confirm that Protestant values are no longer embedded in the culture, says the president of Fuller Theological Seminary. And that has profound implications for how we understand the church and its ministries.
  • Article
    August 13, 2012 | Amid all the tumultuous social changes in the last generation, women remain both more religious than men and underrepresented in positions of authority in the nation’s churches. Take our quiz to explore attitudes and practices on gender and religion.
  • Q&A
    June 4, 2012 | Two professors at McAfee School of Theology explore the gulf between what students learn in seminary and what they remember when they serve in congregations.
  • Article
    June 4, 2012 | Opening new churches and moving into new territory are tactics common among growing church organizations, a new study shows. Take our quiz to learn more about how churches grow.
  • Article
    May 7, 2012 | Remember the days when a mixed marriage was one between a German and a Swedish Lutheran? Today, pastors may be approached by congregants seeking to wed a Buddhist or Muslim or atheist partner. Take our quiz to explore the changing face of interfaith marriages.
  • Q&A
    April 12, 2012 | Ecumenism is about being in relationships with other denominations, other people and all humanity, says the senior bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
  • Article
    January 26, 2012 | The rise of independent churches and the blurring of denominational boundaries have led to a boom in Christian nonprofit organizations. The challenge for church leaders is to respond to the growth of these parachurch organizations in ways that strengthen their identity and mission. Take our quiz to test your knowledge of Christian nonprofits.
  • Reflection
    January 12, 2012 | Christian leaders ignore the spiritual needs of congregations at their own peril. Even the hardest-to-reach group -- young adults -- appears open to approaches that emphasize spiritual growth.
  • Reflection
    January 3, 2012 | Congregations seeking to remain or become vital must change to reflect the changing paradigm of the American family, says the author of a new book on the future of the church.