Congregational vs. Denominational Giving: An Analysis of Giving Patterns in the Presbyterian Church in the United States and the Reformed Church in America

Citation: 
Nemeth, Roger and Donald Luidens. "Congregational vs. Denominational Giving: An Analysis of Giving Patterns in the Presbyterian Church in the United States and the Reformed Church in America." Review of Religious Research, 36, no. 2 (December 1994): 111-122.
Abstract: 

Nemeth and Luidens, using denominational records, compared trends in giving in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. and the Reformed Church in America from the 1860s until the 1980s, and found that, even after adjusting for inflation, per-member giving rose dramatically. However, they also found that after about 1950 local spending increased, while funds sent to support denominational programs did not. The authors believe that increased congregational costs, requiring retention of a greater percentage of income at the local level, accounts for this shift. The reasons for these cost increases include higher levels of compensation for pastors, the loss of volunteers requiring more staff, and rising expectations of staff professional qualifications. Time series regression analysis of the data confirmed the importance of these factors. (SM)

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