Analysis of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as a case study of mainline Protestantism.

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Mon, 12/01/1986
End Date: 
Thu, 12/21/1989

Weeks, Mulder, and Coalter conducted the “most exhaustive study of a mainline Protestant denomination in the Twentieth Century,” focusing on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The extraordinary decline in mainline Protestant churches in the recent past motivated the study, which targeted three main issues surrounding mainline Protestant churches. First, they explored the reasons for the substantial numerical drop in American Presbyterianism. Second, they probed the theological changes in the American Presbyterian Church and society, both nationally and globally in scope. Finally, they examined the organizational transformation of denominational life in the twentieth century. Their project yielded several books, including a seven volume series titled, “The Presbyterian Presence: The Twentieth Century Experience," as well as conferences and speaking engagements that spanned a broad range of denominations. Their work included a self-critique and suggestions for further study.(MG)