At its most basic level, evangelical Christianity is characterized by a belief in the literal truth of the Bible, a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” the importance of encouraging others to be “born again” in Jesus and a lively worship culture. This characterization is true regardless the size of the church, what the people sitting in the pews look like or how they express their beliefs. Evangelical institutions include not only churches but also primary schools and universities, large and small non-profit organizations, media companies and several political groups.
Though its history in America is much longer, Evangelicalism began to significantly influence American politics and culture in the 1970s, culminating with the Reagan Revolution and the rise of the Religious Right. Today its influence continues to extend well beyond its own religious orbit. In Southern California, we are watching how both megachurches and small communities of young evangelicals are adapting to new social and cultural challenges.
- VideoReimagining Religion Conference: The Future of Religion in Los Angeles
- CRCC in the NewsThe New York Times: The Creation of a Modern MegachurchIn a few years, Zerephath Christian Church in New Jersey has transformed from the dwindling base of a little-known denomination to a large megachurch. The New York Times reported on this transition, turning to CRCC’s …Topics: Branding and Marketing, Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Megachurches, Multi-ethnic / Multi-racial Congregations
- CRCC in the NewsBBC News: INC Christianity Is Growing and Influencing AmericaThe fastest growing Christian movement in the United States aims to bring the rule of God to earth, CRCC fellow Brad Christerson told BBC World Service in a radio documentary on “INC …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism,
- CommentaryRevisiting the legacy of Jerry Falwell Sr. in Trump’s AmericaThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Recently, President Donald Trump appointed evangelical Christian leader Jerry Falwell Jr. to head the White House education reform task force. Not much is known …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Education, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious Leadership, Religious Regulation and Accommodation
- CRCC in the NewsChristianity Today: Greg Laurie Joining Southern Baptist ConventionChristianity Today quoted Richard Flory, senior director of research and evaluation, in a news story about Greg Laurie joining the Southern Baptist Convention. Here’s an excerpt from the article: “I am really curious …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Megachurches
- CRCC in the NewsThinkProgress: Multiracial Churches Gaining ProminenceIn the era of Trump’s presidency, multi-racial churches are growing in prominence. Their organizing is a response to and departure from the racism embedded in predominantly white evangelical Christianity, ThinkProgress reported an article that features …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Multi-ethnic / Multi-racial Congregations, National and Cultural Identity, Race and Culture, Race and Ethnicity
- VideoBeautiful Gate: Envisioning Christian Faith in Los Angeles
- CommentaryThe Kingdom of God and American ExceptionalismDoes America have a special God-given role in the world? In meetings with both evangelical and religiously unaffiliated young adults in Los Angeles, I have seen a shift in the understanding of …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious Beliefs and Rituals, Voting and Elections
- BookThe Rise of Network Christianity: How Independent Leaders are Changing the Religious LandscapeThe Rise of Network Christianity: How Independent Leaders Are Changing the Religious Landscape Brad Christerson and Richard Flory (Oxford University Press 2017) The writing of this book was supported by the Pentecostal Charismatic Research …Topics: Books, Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism
- CommentaryFive Trends to Watch in Religion in 2017: Culture Wars, Compounds & the Next Reformation2016 was a year that no one could predict. Last year, we laid out several religion trends worth noting. To see how our forecasts matched with reality, give them a review. The unpredictable nature …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, LGBT Issues, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious "Nones"
- CRCC in the NewsThe Orange County Register: Irvine pastor Rev. Mark Whitlock exhorts church to ‘set a moral tone’ during Trump PresidencyIn response to the surprising Trump victory of this year’s Presidential election, the Rev. Mark Whitlock is encouraging for faith organizations to be prominent moral voices against any future policies that could …Topics: Black Church, Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious Leadership, Voting and Elections
- CommentarySurprised American Evangelicals Voted for Trump? They Have a History of RacismThis post originally appeared on International Business Times. As a scholar of religion, one story that has intrigued me since the beginning of the 2016 presidential campaign is how Trump’s candidacy—now his …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture, Voting and Elections
“Is this the end of evangelicalism? If the term refers to the form of conservative American Protestant Christianity dominated by white men in large churches that has had a significant sociopolitical impact—particularly in the Republican Party—over the past 30 years, then probably yes.”
“Is American Evangelicalism Really Disappearing?”
To schedule an interview with one of our experts, please contact CRCC:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-743-1611
- Brad ChristersonContributing FellowBrad Christenson is a sociologist who has written extensively in the areas of religion, race, ethnicity, and globalization.
- Samuel ChuContributing FellowSamuel Chu is a seasoned community organizer and strategist who works at the intersection of faith and public policy.
- Richard FlorySenior Director of Research and EvaluationRichard Flory is a sociologist whose work focuses on religion and urban life, religious and cultural change, and youth and young adults.
- Andrew JohnsonContributing FellowAndrew Johnson is a sociologist who studies religion on the margins of society, with specific interests in religious practice inside of prison, Latin American Pentecostalism and religion in the city.
- Donald E. MillerDirector of Strategic InitiativesDonald Miller focuses on global religious trends, genocides of the 20th century, and the role of religious NGOs in addressing issues of moral concern.
- Jonathan RussellContributing FellowJonnie Russell is a scholar engaging religion, philosophy and politics, and a chaplain working for social justice on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles.
- Nick StreetSenior WriterNick Street is a journalist covering religious change and innovation, Buddhism, Pentecostalism and LGBT issues.
- Diane WinstonUniversity FellowAs a journalist and scholar, Diane Winston is a national authority on religion, politics, the news media and entertainment.
- Tetsunao YamamoriContributing FellowTetsunao Yamamori is a sociologist with expertise in global Pentecostalism.