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Barna: "Reformed" Movement in U.S. Churches?

According to a news release by the Barna Group, who has been charting the percentage of Protestant pastors who identify their church as “Calvinist” or “Reformed,” 31 percent of pastors said this accurately described their church. Barna researchers say this percentage hasn’t changed from a decade ago. However, pastors who describe their churches as “Wesleyan” or “Arminian” currently account for 32 percent of American churches, down from 37 percent in 2000. 

Barna research also shows that attendance at Calvinist churches has increased an average of 13 percent from ten years ago, while attendance at Wesleyan/Arminian churches has increased 18 percent during the same period.

Among the youngest pastors (ages 27–45), 29 percent called themselves Reformed while 34 percent identified as Wesleyan. Pastors in the Boomer generation were evenly split between the two camps, while the oldest pastors (ages 65 or older) were the least likely to use either term to describe their churches. Researchers clarified that those participating in the poll were not provided a definition for the terms used.

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Toni Ridgaway is a content editor for the Outreach Web Network, including churchleaders.com and SermonCentral.com.