Skip to main content

Strictness and Congregational Growth in Middletown

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


The relative effectiveness of strictness theory and modernization theory in explaining congregational growth is tested using a random sample of white, Protestant churches in Middletown (N = 98). Although the former theory predicts that growth is positively related to an authoritative structure and to enforcing rules of ascetic strictness, modernization theory predicts the opposite pattern. For our sample, authoritative leadership seemed not to produce congregational growth. The main finding was that strict rules positively related to growth among working-class congregations, but negatively related to growth among middle-class congregations.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Ball State University, USA 2: University of Missouri, Columbia, USA

Publication date: 2003-09-01

  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more