Documentation: Religion 2009 (InfoGroup)
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Document: Religion 2009
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Social Explorer Religion 2009 Documentation. Data collected by the InfoGroup, organized by the ARDA, tabulated and processed by Social Explorer.
Religion 2009
Religion by Tradition

Christian groups in America are often placed into four main traditions: Evangelical Protestant, Mainline Protestant, Historically Black Protestant and Roman Catholic. There is wide variation within each of these four traditions. The most difficult to classify are evangelical and mainline Protestants, with evangelical groups being more theologically and socially conservative than mainline groups. Several sources were used for categorizing the many Christian groups into religious traditions, beginning with an article by Brian Steensland and colleagues entitled "The Measure of American Religion: Toward Improving the State of the Art" published in Social Forces (2000, 79: 291-318). This article places most denominations into one of those traditions. For Christian denominations not included in Steensland and colleagues' scheme, two additional sources were consulted: J. Gordon Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions (8th edition) and Frank S. Mead and Samuel S. Hill's Handbook of Denominations in the United States (10th edition). In addition to those in Steensland and colleagues' classification scheme, separate categories were created for Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Orthodox Christians, Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Jehovah's Witnesses, and other groups. Using these sources the staff at the Association of Religion Data Archives (theARDA.com) placed each group into a Religious Tradition.

A list of U.S. Religious Traditions:

  • Evangelical Protestant
  • Mainline Protestant
  • Historically Black Protestant
  • Roman Catholic
  • Jewish
  • Latter-day Saints (Mormon)
  • Islamic
  • Hindu
  • Buddhist
  • Orthodox Christian
  • Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Other

The 233 religious groups and their category placement are given below. For more information on each of the denominations, go to the ARDAs Denominational Profiles page (http://www.thearda.com/Denoms/families/index.asp):


Denomination Source Reported By InfoGroup Religious Tradition
Advent Christian Church Evangelical Protestant
Adventists - Other Evangelical Protestant
Church of God General Conference Evangelical Protestant
Seventh Day Adventists Evangelical Protestant
Seventh Day Church of God Evangelical Protestant
American Baptist Association Evangelical Protestant
American Baptist Churches/USA Mainline Protestant
Baptist General Conference Evangelical Protestant
Baptist - Other Evangelical Protestant
Baptist Bible Fellowship Evangelical Protestant
Baptist Missionary Association of America Evangelical Protestant
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Evangelical Protestant
Independent Baptist Churches Evangelical Protestant
Conservative Baptist Association Evangelical Protestant
Free Will Baptists Evangelical Protestant
General Assoc. of Regular Baptists Evangelical Protestant
Assoc. of General Baptists Evangelical Protestant
General Association of Separatist Baptists Evangelical Protestant
National Baptist Convention of America Historically Black Protestant
National Baptist Convention-USA Historically Black Protestant
North American Baptist Conference Evangelical Protestant
Primitive Baptists Evangelical Protestant
Progressive National Baptist Convention Historically Black Protestant
Seventh Day Baptist Gen. Conference Evangelical Protestant
Southern Baptist Convention Evangelical Protestant
Southwide Baptist Fellowship Evangelical Protestant
United Baptist Evangelical Protestant
World Baptist Fellowship Evangelical Protestant
African Methodist Episcopal Church Historically Black Protestant
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Historically Black Protestant
African Union Methodist Protestant Historically Black Protestant
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church Historically Black Protestant
Congregational Methodist Church Evangelical Protestant
Evangelical Congregational Church Evangelical Protestant
Evangelical Methodist Church Evangelical Protestant
Independent Methodist Churches Evangelical Protestant
Methodist - Other Mainline Protestant
Primitive Methodist Church Evangelical Protestant
Reformed Zion Union Apostolic Historically Black Protestant
Southern Methodist Church Evangelical Protestant
United Methodist Church Mainline Protestant
American Association of Lutheran Church Evangelical Protestant
Apostolic Lutheran Church of America Evangelical Protestant
Association of Free Lutheran Congregations Evangelical Protestant
Church of Lutheran Confession Evangelical Protestant
Church of the Lutheran Brethren Evangelical Protestant
Evangelical Lutheran Synod Evangelical Protestant
Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Mainline Protestant
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Mainline Protestant
Lutheran - Other Evangelical Protestant
Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Evangelical Protestant
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Evangelical Protestant
Association Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Protestant
Bible Presbyterian Church Evangelical Protestant
Christian Reformed Church Evangelical Protestant
Churches of God (Findlay, OH) Evangelical Protestant
Congregational Christian Churches Evangelical Protestant
Conservative Congregation Christian Conference Evangelical Protestant
Cumberland Presbyterian Church Evangelical Protestant
Evangelical Presbyterian Church Evangelical Protestant
Free Reformed Churches of North America Evangelical Protestant
Free Presbyterian Church Evangelical Protestant
Orthodox Presbyterian Church Evangelical Protestant
Presbyterian Church in America Evangelical Protestant
Presbyterian/Reformed - Other Evangelical Protestant
Presbyterian Church (USA) Mainline Protestant
Protestant Reformed Churches Evangelical Protestant
Reformed Church in America Mainline Protestant
Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America Evangelical Protestant
Reformed Church in the USA Evangelical Protestant
Cumberland Presbyterian Ch in America Historically Black Protestant
United Church of Christ Mainline Protestant
United Reformed Churches in North America Evangelical Protestant
Maranatha Christian Churches Evangelical Protestant
Apostolic Church of Pentecost Evangelical Protestant
Apostolic Churches - Other Evangelical Protestant
Apostolic Faith Church Evangelical Protestant
Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church Historically Black Protestant
Assemblies of God Evangelical Protestant
Bible Way Church of Lord Jesus Christ Historically Black Protestant
Calvary Chapel Evangelical Protestant
Christian Church of North America Evangelical Protestant
Church of God (Cleveland, TN) Evangelical Protestant
Church of God of Prophecy Evangelical Protestant
Church of God - Mountain Assembly Evangelical Protestant
Church of God - Other Evangelical Protestant
Church of God By Faith Historically Black Protestant
Church of God in Christ Historically Black Protestant
Congregational Holiness Church, Inc. Evangelical Protestant
Church of the Living God Historically Black Protestant
Church of the Lord Jesus Christ Historically Black Protestant
Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of Apostolic Faith Historically Black Protestant
Deliverance Churches Evangelical Protestant
Church On the Rock Evangelical Protestant
Seventh Day Pentecostal Historically Black Protestant
Word Churches Evangelical Protestant
Elim Fellowship Evangelical Protestant
Faith Christian Fellowship Evangelical Protestant
Fire-Baptized Holiness Church Historically Black Protestant
First Church of Jesus Christ Historically Black Protestant
Full Gospel Fellowship Evangelical Protestant
Hall Deliverance Foundation Evangelical Protestant
International Foursquare Gospel Evangelical Protestant
International Pentecostal Church of Christ Evangelical Protestant
Association of Vineyard Churches Evangelical Protestant
Liberty Fellowship of Churches Evangelical Protestant
Open Bible Standard Churches Evangelical Protestant
Church of God (Original) Evangelical Protestant
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World Historically Black Protestant
Pentecostal Church of God Evangelical Protestant
Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church Evangelical Protestant
International Pentecostal Holiness Church Evangelical Protestant
Pentecostal - Other Evangelical Protestant
United House of Prayer Historically Black Protestant
United Christian Church Evangelical Protestant
United Pentecostal Church Evangelical Protestant
Victory Churches International Evangelical Protestant
Liberal Catholic Churches Other
Polish National Catholic Church Other
Roman Catholic Church Roman Catholic
Convents/Rectories/Monasteries Roman Catholic
Brethren - Other Evangelical Protestant
Fellowship of Grace Brethren Evangelical Protestant
Church of the Brethren Evangelical Protestant
Old German Baptist Brethren Church Evangelical Protestant
United Brethren in Christ Evangelical Protestant
Berean Fundamental Churches Evangelical Protestant
Church of the Open Door Evangelical Protestant
Independent Bible Churches Evangelical Protestant
Fundamental Bible Churches Evangelical Protestant
Grace Gospel Fellowship Evangelical Protestant
Independent Fundamental Churches Evangelical Protestant
Plymouth Brethren Evangelical Protestant
Anglican - Other Evangelical Protestant
Anglican Episcopal of North America Evangelical Protestant
Charismatic Episcopal Church Evangelical Protestant
Episcopal Church Mainline Protestant
Anglican Orthodox Church Evangelical Protestant
Reformed Episcopal Church Evangelical Protestant
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Mainline Protestant
Christian & Churches of Christ Evangelical Protestant
Christian - Other Evangelical Protestant
Churches of Christ (Non-Instrumental) Evangelical Protestant
Church of God in Christ, Mennonite Evangelical Protestant
Conservative Mennonite Fellowship Evangelical Protestant
Amish (Mennonite) Evangelical Protestant
Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference Evangelical Protestant
Brethren in Christ Evangelical Protestant
Mennonite Church USA Evangelical Protestant
Mennonite Brethren Church Evangelical Protestant
Church of Jesus Christ - Latter-day Saints Latter-day Saint (Mormon)
Community of Christ (RLDS) Other
Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Evangelical Protestant
American Rescue Workers Evangelical Protestant
Apostolic Christian (Nazarean) Evangelical Protestant
Bible Methodist Connection Evangelical Protestant
Christian & Missionary Alliance Evangelical Protestant
Ch. of Christ in Christian Union Evangelical Protestant
Church of God (Anderson, IN) Evangelical Protestant
Churches of God (Independent Holiness) Evangelical Protestant
Church of God (Holiness) Evangelical Protestant
Pillar of Fire Evangelical Protestant
Evangelical Christian Church Evangelical Protestant
Evangelical Church of North America Evangelical Protestant
Free Methodist Church of North America Evangelical Protestant
Grace and Hope Mission Evangelical Protestant
Holiness - Other Evangelical Protestant
Missionary Church Evangelical Protestant
Mount Calvary Holy Church of America Historically Black Protestant
National Association of Holiness Churches Evangelical Protestant
Church of the Nazarene Evangelical Protestant
Rescue Mission Evangelical Protestant
Salvation Army Evangelical Protestant
Triumph the Church/Kingdom of God Historically Black Protestant
Wesleyan Church Evangelical Protestant
Christian Science Churches Other
Swedenborgian Churches Other
Metaphysical - Other Other
National Spiritualist Association Other
Spiritual Science Churches Other
Spiritualist Churches/Organizations Other
United Church of Religious Science Other
Unity School of Christianity Other
Church of Scientology Other
Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America Orthodox Christian
American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Orthodox Christian
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Orthodox Christian
Armenian Apostolic Church Orthodox Christian
Armenian Church of America Orthodox Christian
Byelorussian Orthodox Orthodox Christian
Greek Orthodox Church Orthodox Christian
Eastern Orthodox - Other Orthodox Christian
Orthodox Church in America Orthodox Christian
Romanian Orthodox Episcopate Orthodox Christian
Russian Orthodox Church Orthodox Christian
Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church Orthodox Christian
Ukranian Orthodox Church Orthodox Christian
Jewish - Other Jewish
Orthodox Jewish Congregations Jewish
Reconstructionist Jewish Congregations Jewish
Reform Jewish Congregations Jewish
Conservative Jewish Congregations Jewish
Christadelphians Evangelical Protestant
International Council Community Churches Mainline Protestant
Evangelical Covenant Church Evangelical Protestant
Evangelical Free Church Evangelical Protestant
Evangelical - Other Evangelical Protestant
Federated Church Evangelical Protestant
Friends (Quakers) Mainline Protestant
Military Chapels Other
Metropolitan Community Churches Mainline Protestant
Moravian Church in America Mainline Protestant
Neighborhood Churches Other
Non-Denominational Churches Other
Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations Other
Schwenkfelder Church Evangelical Protestant
United/Union Churches Evangelical Protestant
Worldwide Church of God Evangelical Protestant
Non Classified Affiliation Other
Baha'i Faith Other
Buddhist Temples, Zen Buddhist
Eckankar Other
Hindu Temples Hindu
Jehovah's Witnesses Jehovah's Witnesses
Krishna Other
Miscellaneous Cults and Sects Other
Muslim/Mohammed/Islam Islamic
Nichiren Shoshu Temple Other
Sikh Society Other
Miscellaneous Eastern Religions Other
Tenrikyo Churches Other
Unification Church Other
Unitarian Universalist Association Other
Yoga Institutes Other


Evangelical Protestants
Evangelical Protestant denominations and churches emphasize conversion and evangelism, hold biblical authority in high regard, and tend to seek more separation from the broader culture. Evangelical Protestantism is usually seen as more theologically and socially conservative than mainline Protestantism, although there is obviously variation among evangelical denominations, congregations, and individuals.
  • Adventists - Other
  • Church of God General Conference
  • Seventh Day Adventists
  • Seventh Day Church of God
  • American Baptist Association
  • Baptist General Conference
  • Baptist - Other
  • Baptist Bible Fellowship
  • Baptist Missionary Association of America
  • Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
  • Independent Baptist Churches
  • Conservative Baptist Association
  • Free Will Baptists
  • General Assoc. of Regular Baptists
  • Assoc. of General Baptists
  • General Association of Separatist Baptists
  • North American Baptist Conference
  • Primitive Baptists
  • Seventh Day Baptist Gen. Conference
  • Southern Baptist Convention
  • Southwide Baptist Fellowship
  • United Baptist
  • World Baptist Fellowship
  • Congregational Methodist Church
  • Evangelical Congregational Church
  • Evangelical Methodist Church
  • Independent Methodist Churches
  • Primitive Methodist Church
  • Southern Methodist Church
  • American Association of Lutheran Church
  • Apostolic Lutheran Church of America
  • Association of Free Lutheran Congregations
  • Church of Lutheran Confession
  • Church of the Lutheran Brethren
  • Evangelical Lutheran Synod
  • Lutheran - Other
  • Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
  • Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran
  • Association Reformed Presbyterian Church
  • Bible Presbyterian Church
  • Christian Reformed Church
  • Churches of God (Findlay, OH)
  • Congregational Christian Churches
  • Conservative Congregation Christian Conference
  • Cumberland Presbyterian Church
  • Evangelical Presbyterian Church
  • Free Reformed Churches of North America
  • Free Presbyterian Church
  • Orthodox Presbyterian Church
  • Presbyterian Church in America
  • Presbyterian/Reformed - Other
  • Protestant Reformed Churches
  • Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America
  • Reformed Church in the USA
  • United Reformed Churches in North America
  • Maranatha Christian Churches
  • Apostolic Church of Pentecost
  • Apostolic Churches - Other
  • Apostolic Faith Church
  • Assemblies of God
  • Calvary Chapel
  • Christian Church of North America
  • Church of God (Cleveland, TN)
  • Church of God of Prophecy
  • Church of God - Mountain Assembly
  • Church of God - Other
  • Congregational Holiness Church, Inc.
  • Deliverance Churches
  • Church On the Rock
  • Word Churches
  • Elim Fellowship
  • Faith Christian Fellowship
  • Full Gospel Fellowship
  • Hall Deliverance Foundation
  • International Foursquare Gospel
  • International Pentecostal Church of Christ
  • Association of Vineyard Churches
  • Liberty Fellowship of Churches
  • Open Bible Standard Churches
  • Church of God (Original)
  • Pentecostal Church of God
  • Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church
  • International Pentecostal Holiness Church
  • Pentecostal - Other
  • United Christian Church
  • United Pentecostal Church
  • Victory Churches International
  • Brethren - Other
  • Fellowship of Grace Brethren
  • Church of the Brethren
  • Old German Baptist Brethren Church
  • United Brethren in Christ
  • Berean Fundamental Churches
  • Church of the Open Door
  • Independent Bible Churches
  • Fundamental Bible Churches
  • Grace Gospel Fellowship
  • Independent Fundamental Churches
  • Plymouth Brethren
  • Anglican - Other
  • Anglican Episcopal of North America
  • Charismatic Episcopal Church
  • Anglican Orthodox Church
  • Reformed Episcopal Church
  • Christian & Churches of Christ
  • Christian - Other
  • Churches of Christ (Non-Instrumental)
  • Church of God in Christ, Mennonite
  • Conservative Mennonite Fellowship
  • Amish (Mennonite)
  • Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference
  • Brethren in Christ
  • Mennonite Brethren Church
  • Mennonite Brethren Church
  • Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist
  • American Rescue Workers
  • Apostolic Christian (Nazarean)
  • Bible Methodist Connection
  • Christian & Missionary Alliance
  • Ch. of Christ in Christian Union
  • Churches of God (Independent Holiness)
  • Church of God (Holiness)
  • Pillar of Fire
  • Evangelical Christian Church
  • Evangelical Church of North America
  • Free Methodist Church of North America
  • Grace and Hope Mission
  • Holiness - Other
  • Missionary Church
  • National Association of Holiness Churches
  • Church of the Nazarene
  • Rescue Mission
  • Salvation Army
  • Wesleyan Church
  • Christadelphians
  • Evangelical Covenant Church
  • Evangelical Free Church
  • Evangelical - Other
  • Federated Church
  • Schwenkfelder Church
  • United/Union Churches
  • Worldwide Church of God


Mainline Protestants
Mainline denominations typically emphasize a proactive view on issues of social and economic justice and a tolerance of varied individual beliefs. While mainline Protestantism is usually seen as more theologically and socially liberal than evangelical Protestantism, there is obviously variation among mainline denominations, congregations, and individuals.
  • American Baptist Churches/USA
  • Methodist - Other
  • United Methodist Church
  • Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • Reformed Church in America
  • United Church of Christ
  • Episcopal Church
  • Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
  • International Council Community Churches
  • Friends (Quakers)
  • Metropolitan Community Churches
  • Moravian Church in America


Historically Black Protestant
Historically black Protestant churches are those that minister to predominantly African American congregations in the United States. The first black churches were founded by free blacks in the 18th century. Historically black churches have long been the centers of communities, serving numerous important functions.
  • National Baptist Convention of America
  • National Baptist Convention-USA
  • Progressive National Baptist Convention
  • African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • African Methodist Episcopal Zion
  • African Union Methodist Protestant
  • Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Reformed Zion Union Apostolic
  • Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America
  • Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church
  • Bible Way Church of Lord Jesus Christ
  • Church of God By Faith
  • Church of God in Christ
  • Church of the Living God
  • Church of the Lord Jesus Christ
  • Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of Apostolic Faith
  • Seventh Day Pentecostal
  • Fire-Baptized Holiness Church
  • First Church of Jesus Christ
  • Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
  • United House of Prayer
  • Mount Calvary Holy Church of America
  • Triumph the Church/Kingdom of God


Roman Catholics
  • Roman Catholic Church
  • Convents/Rectories/Monasteries


Jewish
A monotheistic religion based on the Torah, Talmud and other texts that are part of the Old Testament. There are several Jewish denominations, including Orthodox and Reform Judaism.
  • Jewish - Other
  • Orthodox Jewish
  • Reconstructionist Jewish
  • Reform Jewish
  • Conservative Jewish


Latter-day Saints (Mormon)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (colloquially referred to as the Mormon Church) is a restorationist Christian church and the largest denomination originating from the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in upstate New York in 1830. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah and has established congregations (called wards or branches) worldwide.

Islamic
Islam: The religion founded by Mohammad, who is believed by followers to be the final prophet. Muslims follow the sacred text of the Koran and stress the oneness of God.

Hinduism: The name given for the majority religion of India. There is no central authority in Hinduism, although most Hindu groups and traditions believe in reincarnation and venerate gods and goddesses who are viewed as manifestations of God.

Buddhist
Buddhism: A world religion founded by Gautama, the Buddha in the fifth or fourth century (B.C.) in India. Teaching reincarnation and freedom from worldly attachments, Buddhism has three major branches: Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana.

Orthodox Christian
One of the three great divisions of Christianity; the others are the Protestant churches and the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic and Orthodox churches were originally united, but they parted in the eleventh century, when they differed over several points of doctrine, including the supreme authority of the pope, which Orthodox Christians reject.
  • Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America
  • American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox
  • Antiochian Orthodox Christian
  • Armenian Apostolic Church
  • Armenian Church of America
  • Byelorussian Orthodox
  • Greek Orthodox Church
  • Eastern Orthodox - Other
  • Orthodox Church in America
  • Russian Orthodox Church
  • Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church
  • Ukranian Orthodox Church


Jehovah's Witnesses
The Jehovah's Witnesses emerged out of the Bible Student movement begun by Charles Taze Russell, who founded the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in the 1880s. The organization took its present name in 1931.

  • Liberal Catholic Churches
  • Polish National Catholic Church
  • Community of Christ (RLDS)
  • Christian Science Churches
  • Swedenborgian Churches
  • Metaphysical - Other
  • National Spiritualist Association
  • Spiritual Science Churches
  • Spiritualist Churches/Organizations
  • United Church of Religious Science
  • Unity School of Christianity
  • Church of Scientology
  • Military Chapels
  • Neighborhood Churches
  • Non-Denominational Churches
  • Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations
  • Non Classified Affiliation
  • Baha'i Faith
  • Eckankar
  • Krishna
  • Miscellaneous Cults and Sects
  • Nichiren Shoshu Temple
  • Sikh Society
  • Miscellaneous Eastern Religions
  • Tenrikyo Churches
  • Unification Church
  • Unitarian Universalist Association
  • Yoga Institutes