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Scott L. Thumma
Online Articles and Writings


The Other 80%: Turning Your Church's Spectators into Active Participants

Beyond Megachurch Myths: What We Can Learn from America's Largest Churches co-authored with Dave Travis (J-B Leadership Network Series, 2007) 

Gay Religion co edited with Edward Gray (AltaMira Press, 2004)  


on megachurches -

My dissertation The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: Megachurches In Modern American Society, Emory Univ. 1996 about one particular megachurch, Chapel Hill Harvester Church/The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit.

Megachurches Today 2000
A Summary of data from the Faith Communities Today Project.

Megachurches Today 2005: Summary of Research Findings
Scott Thumma, Dave Travis & Warren Bird

Changes in American Megachurches: Tracing Eight Years of Growth and Innovation in the Nation's Largest-attendance Congregations 2008 by Scott Thumma and Warren Bird

Not Who You Think They Are: A Profile of the People Who Attend America's Megachurches 2009 by Scott Thumma and Warren Bird

A listing of U.S. Megachurches This is an often-updated searchable database listing of all the megachurches I have been able to locate in the United States.

Exploring the Megachurch Phenomena A section from my dissertation describing what megachurches are, their characteristics, and their resonance with the modern cultural context.

on nondenominationalism -

Growing up and Leaving Home: Megachurches that Depart Denominations 2007
Scott Thumma and Adair Lummis

What God Makes Free is Free Indeed: Nondenominational Church Identity and its Networks of Support presented at an annual meeting for the Religious Research Association. 1999

"Connectionalism Beyond the Denomination:  Local Religious Ecologies and Beyond"  a paper presented by Scott Thumma

Nondenominational Congregations Study 2000 A compilation of information from both the Faith Communities Today project and the Organizing Religious Work project.

Nondenominational Congregations Today 2000   A report from the Faith Communities Today project

on internet religion -

A lecture on Religion and the Internet
Given at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this lecture invited Dr. Thumma along with Rev. Charles Henderson and Elena Larsen to discuss how people are using the Internet for religious purposes.  You may also wish to visit the MIT website for a summary, transcript of the discussion, and an audio link to the lecture.

Summary of a Survey of Church Webmasters  Conducted by students from Hartford’s Seminary course on Religion and the Internet surveying webmasters from 63 U.S. congregational web sites.  There are many interesting findings from this glimpse into the process of creating and maintaining a congregational web site.

Walking the Cyber-Labyrinth  A talk on the implications of the web on our spiritual journeys.

Miscellaneous topics -

The Shape of Things to Come: Megachurches, Emerging Churches and Other New Religious Structures Supporting an Individualized Spiritual Identity. 2006

Negotiating a Religious Identity: The Case of the Gay Evangelical an article written for Sociological Analysis

Congregational Observational Guides - a list of guides that highlights the issues of theology and leadership when studying congregations. 



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