New research from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research gives us one of the first academic looks at the rise of nondenominational churches in America.
According to the report:
"If the nation's independent and nondenominational churches were combined into a single group they would represent the third largest cluster of congregations in the country, following the Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention; second largest number of churches - following the Southern Baptist. Overall, this research found over 35,000 churches representing more than 12.2 million adherents. In total, four percent of the US population worships in an independent or nondenominational church."
What are the reasons behind the rise and what does it mean for more traditional churches in America?
We had a short segment on this report last week and were flooded with calls, so we'll be revisiting the topic on The Daily Circuit Monday. Scott Thumma, professor of sociology of religion at the Hartford Seminary, will join us for the show. Penny Edgell, professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota, will also join the discussion.
VIDEO: Scott Thumma on megachurches