Review of Religious Research

, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 515–541

Theology Matters: Comparing the Traits of Growing and Declining Mainline Protestant Church Attendees and Clergy

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s13644-016-0255-4

Cite this article as:
Haskell, D.M., Flatt, K.N. & Burgoyne, S. Rev Relig Res (2016) 58: 515. doi:10.1007/s13644-016-0255-4


Using surveys, this study gathered and examined demographic and religious characteristics of attendees and clergy of a group of growing mainline Protestant churches in Canada and compared them to those from declining mainline Protestant churches from the same geographical region and group of denominations. In total, 2255 attendees from 22 churches (13 declining and 9 growing) participated along with their church’s clergy (N = 29). Several notable differences between the characteristics of growing and declining churches were identified. When other factors were controlled for in multivariate analysis, the theological conservatism of both attendees and clergy emerged as important factors in predicting church growth.


Mainline Protestantism Church growth Theological conservatism Canada 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Wilfrid Laurier University
    Redeemer University College

      Copyright information

      © Religious Research Association, Inc. 2016

      Authors and Affiliations

      1. 1.Wilfrid Laurier University—Brantford CampusBrantfordCanada
      2. 2.Redeemer University CollegeAncasterCanada

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