Date of Award
Master of Arts
Although a primary tenet of Christianity is service to others, the level to which denominations extend such assistance greatly varies. Recent research attributes this variance to differences in church theology. Evangelical theology stresses anti-structuralism and de-emphasizes the ethical teachings of Christianity while the opposite is true of non-evangelical theology. These differences are thought to limit assistance to others in evangelical churches and to promote such assistance in non-evangelical churches. Using data from the U.S. Congregational Life Survey, I test these ideas by examining the relationship between type of denomination (evangelical vs. non-evangelical) and whether or not churches have programs such as housing for those in need, prison or jail ministry, substance abuse recovery, etc. Surprisingly, the findings offer virtually no support for the predicted outcomes. I will explain the evidence found in this study, and discuss the ramifications regarding religious research.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Murphy, Jonathan Barkley, "American Denominations and Christian Service: The Relationship Between Theology and Service" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 157.