Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
The Empirical Ties between Religious Motivation and Altruism in Foster Parents: Implications for Faith-Based Initiatives in Foster Care and Adoption
Previous Article in Journal
Islam, Immigration, and Identity: An Introduction
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Resurgence of Religion in America’s Prisons
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Religions 2014, 5(3), 703-719; doi:10.3390/rel5030703

The Optimal Level of Strictness and Congregational Growth

Department of Sociology, Baylor University, One Bear Place #97326, Waco, TX 76798-7326, USA
Received: 3 June 2014 / Revised: 29 July 2014 / Accepted: 30 July 2014 / Published: 8 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [215 KB, uploaded 8 August 2014]   |  

Abstract

Beginning with Kelley’s and Iannaccone’s foundational studies, scholars have examined how strictness impacts congregational outcomes. This paper seeks to further develop the strict church thesis by examining Iannaccone’s concept of “optimal level of strictness”, an idea that there are limits to strictness. Using Stark and Finke’s theoretical framework of religious niches and data from the 2005 Baylor Religion Survey and the 2000 Faith Communities Today survey, I find that only prohibitions that are in line with a congregation’s religious niche have an impact on growth. To be beneficial, prohibitions must match the pool of potential members’ preferences. View Full-Text
Keywords: strict church thesis; congregational growth; niches; religious organizations; Protestant Christianity; quantitative methodology strict church thesis; congregational growth; niches; religious organizations; Protestant Christianity; quantitative methodology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ferguson, T.W. The Optimal Level of Strictness and Congregational Growth. Religions 2014, 5, 703-719.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top