Hartford Institute Logo
Hartford Institute Site Map Hartford Seminary

Hartford Seminary
The Web


The term megachurch is the name given to a group of very large, Protestant congregations that share several distinctive characteristics.  These churches generally have:

2000 or more persons in attendance at weekly worship, counting adults and children at all worship locations.
A charismatic, authoritative senior minister 
A very active 7 day a week congregational community
A multitude of diverse social and outreach ministries
An intentional small group system or other structures of intimacy and accountability
Innovative and often contemporary worship format
and a complex differentiated organizational structure

Read a more detailed description of megachurches

All m egachurches are not identical and do not always resemble the nontraditional and seeker-friendly style of a church like Willow Creek Community Church.  However, their very large numbers of attendees does shape their functioning in distinctive and often uniform ways.  Our latest research report highlights many of these characteristics.

If you are interested in megachurches, you might find this book co-authored by Hartford Institute professor Scott Thumma, interesting and informative.




Hartford Seminary
77 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105
© 2000 - 2015 Hartford Seminary, Hartford Institute for Religion Research