One Hundred and Fifty Years of Congregational Change: Church Life in the Reformed Church in America, 1847-1997

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Fri, 12/01/1995
End Date: 
Mon, 08/31/1998

With the cooperation of Hope College, Donald Luidens and Roger Nemeth conducted a study of the Reformed Church in America (RCA) with a particular emphasis on its congregations. Luidens and Nemeth examined congregational growth and decline, congregational finances, and ministerial career patterns within the RCA for the past 150 years. Luidens and Nemeth sought to compile and analyze a large body of statistical and historical data that could be utilized effectively by both academics and church leaders grappling with denominational and congregational policy. They examined data on the life cycles of RCA congregations during the course of 150 years and assessed the relative contribution of a variety of factors to the long-term growth and decline of congregations.