Theology Project Topics

Effect of Denominational Practices on the Growth of the Church

Effect of Denominational Practices on the Growth of the Church




The study sought to know the effect of denominational practices on the growth of the church. Specifically, the study sought to;

  1. Know whether denominational practices have significant effect on church growth.
  2. To determine whether denominational practices bring unity to Christianity.
  3. To ascertain the relationship between denominational practices and church growth





 The English word denomination comes from the Latin word denominare, which means “to name. In this book, you will find that the names of denominations are diverse, reflecting a wide range of distinctive beliefs and practices. A denomination is “an association or fellowship of congregations within a religion that have the same beliefs or creed, engage in similar practices, and cooperate with each other to develop and maintain shared enterprises. Seen in this light, Presbyterians are Presbyterians precisely because they share the same beliefs, engage in similar practices, and cooperate with each other to develop and maintain shared enterprises. Likewise, Roman Catholics are Roman Catholics for the same reasons. Though the church experienced some sectarianism even in early New Testament times (see 1Corinthians 3:3-7), formal denominations are actually a relatively recent development. One reason for this is that in many countries of the world, governmental authorities believed that civic harmony hinged on religious conformity. The recipe for a healthy society, they believed, included “one king, one faith, and one law. This is why so many countries have had state churches. They resisted the idea of allowing people to have freedom of religious belief, for they thought such a policy would be disruptive to society. When denominational groups did emerge in some of these countries, persecution soon followed. Only with the emergence of the United States did all this change in a significant way. The United States promises every American the free exercise of religion. This is one of the things that make America so great. The First Amendment, ratified in 1791, affirms that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. In keeping with this, James Madison, who became the fourth president of the United States (1809–1817), wrote, “The religion of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man We maintain, therefore, that in matters of religion no man’s right is to be abridged by the institution of civil society. This policy is one reason so many people immigrated to the colonies in the early years of our country. As these people arrived, they brought with them their churches and denominations. Among the English colonists there were Congregationalists in New England, Quakers in Pennsylvania, Anglicans in New York, Presbyterians in Virginia, and Roman Catholics in Maryland. In addition, there were Dutch, Swiss, and German Reformed and Swiss and German Lutherans. Transplanting their former churches onto American soil served to help these immigrants adjust to their new surroundings. They were able to stay grounded in a familiar spiritual environment even while getting used to their new physical environment. Eventually these various churches took on an American flavor and adapted to fit in with American society. With the passing of time, new denominations continued to emerge on American soil as a result of splits and mergers. Why do denominations split? The answer is simple. Wherever human beings congregate, they will have differences of opinion about what to believe and how faith should be practiced. This book will illustrate how, in many cases, churches split off from a parent denomination because of differences in belief and/or practices, thereby giving rise to entirely new denominations.


Scripture refers to both the universal church and the local church. The universal church is a company of people who have one Lord and who share together in one gift of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ (Titus 1:4; Jude 3). It may be defined as the ever enlarging body of born-again believers who comprise the universal body of Christ, over which He reigns as Lord. Although the members of the church and members of different denominations may differ in age, sex, race, wealth, social status, and ability, true believers are all joined together as one people (Galatians 3:28). All of them share in one Spirit and worship one Lord (Ephesians 4:3-6). This body is comprised only of believers in Christ. The way one becomes a member of this universal body is to simply place faith in Christ. If you’re a believer, you’re in! The word church is translated from the Greek word ekklesia. This Greek word comes from two smaller words. The first is ek, which means “out from among.” The second is klesia, which means “to call.” Combining the two words, ekklesia means “to call out from among.” The church represents those whom God has called out from among the world and from all walks of life. All are welcome in Christ’s church. Many theologians believe the church did not exist in Old Testament times (I think they are right). Matthew 16:18 cites Jesus as saying, “I will build my church” (future tense). This indicates that when He spoke these words, the church did not yet exist. This is consistent with the Old Testament, which includes no reference to the church. In the New Testament, the church is portrayed as distinct from Israel in such passages as Romans 9:6, 1Corinthians 10:32, and Hebrews 12:22-24. Therefore, we should not equate the church with believing Israelites in Old Testament times. Scripture indicates that the universal church was born on the Day of Pentecost (see Acts 2; compare with 1:5; 11:15; 1 Corinthians 12:13). We are told in Ephesians 1:19-20 that the church is built on the foundation of Christ’s resurrection, meaning that the church could not have existed in Old Testament times. The church is thus called a “new man” in Ephesians 2:15. The one universal church is represented by many local churches scattered throughout the world. For example, we read of a local church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:2), and another in Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 1:1). Only a few local churches existed at first, but due to the missionary efforts of the early Christians, churches soon cropped up around the globe.



  • Research design

The researcher used descriptive research survey design in building up this project work the choice of this research design was considered appropriate because of its advantages of identifying attributes of a large population from a group of individuals. The design was suitable for the study as the study sought to the effect of denominational practices on the growth of the church

  • Sources of data collection

Data were collected from two main sources namely:

(i)Primary source and

(ii)Secondary source

Primary source:

These are materials of statistical investigation which were collected by the research for a particular purpose. They can be obtained through a survey, observation questionnaire or as experiment; the researcher has adopted the questionnaire method for this study.

Secondary source:

These are data from textbook Journal handset etc. they arise as byproducts of the same other purposes. Example administration, various other unpublished works and write ups were also used.

  • Population of the study

Population of a study is a group of persons or aggregate items, things the researcher is interested in getting information the effect of denominational practices on the growth of the church. 200 members of selected churches in Ido local government of Enugu State were selected randomly by the researcher as the population of the study.

  • Sample and sampling procedure

Sample is the set people or items which constitute part of a given population sampling. Due to large size of the target population, the researcher used the Taro Yamani formula to arrive at the sample population of the study.



4.1 Introduction                 

Efforts will be made at this stage to present, analyze and interpret the data collected during the field survey.  This presentation will be based on the responses from the completed questionnaires. The result of this exercise will be summarized in tabular forms for easy references and analysis. It will also show answers to questions relating to the research questions for this research study. The researcher employed simple percentage in the analysis.

DATA ANALYSIS                            

The data collected from the respondents were analyzed in tabular form with simple percentage for easy understanding.

A total of 133(one hundred and thirty three) questionnaires were distributed and 133 questionnaires were returned.

Question 1

Gender distribution of the respondents.



5.1 Introduction                     

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the effect of denominational practices on the growth of the church

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of the effect of denominational practices on the growth of the church

  • Summary

This study was on the effect of denominational practices on the growth of the church.  Three objectives were raised which included: Know whether denominational practices have significant effect on church growth, to determine whether denominational practices bring unity to Christianity, to ascertain the relationship between denominational practices and church growth. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 members of selected churches in Ido local government of Enugu State. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up pastors, elders, women and youths were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies

5.3 Conclusion

Numerous Christian denominations bring different practices in Christianity which affects the unity of the Christians.

5.4 Recommendation

The researcher hereby recommends that since Christianity is full of denominations and they are using one bible they should believe in God not human ideology


  • Adams, J. L. (1970). The growing church lobby in Washington. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
  •  Applegate, B. K., Cullen, F. T., Fisher, B. S., & Vander Ven, T. (2000). Forgiveness and fundamentalism: Reconsidering the relationship between correctional attitudes and religion. Criminology, 38(3), 719−753.
  •  Bader, C. D. & Johnson, B. R. (2007, November). Divine justice: How images of God impact attitudes toward criminal punishment. Paper presented at the 59th meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Atlanta, GA.
  •  Baumer, E. P., Messner, S. F., & Rosenfeld, R. (2003). Explaining spatial variation in support for capital punishment: A multilevel analysis. American Journal of Sociology, 108, 844−875.
  •  Bjarnason, T., & Welch, M. R. (2004). Father knows best: Parishes, priests, and American Catholic parishioners’ attitudes toward capital punishment. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 43(1), 103−118.

Download Chapters 1 to 5 in PDF

Effect of denominational practices on the growth of the church chapters 1 to 5 with abstract, questionnaire and references can be downloaded via this page in PDF and MS-Word Document. This research project paper can be use for your final year project guide, assignment, thesis sample, proposal sample, seminar work and research report.

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