Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Religious Studies

Reader 1

Gaston Espinosa

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In this thesis, economic theory and models will be used to analyze trends of religious growth and decline within the United States. These theories and models, such as Rational Choice Theory, will be applied in order to better understand and gain new insight into shifts and changes within the religious landscape of the United States. Recent trends of growth and decline within Protestantism, the most prominent Christian tradition in America, will be the focus of the investigation. As its main focus, this thesis will ultimately demonstrate that the trends of decline in the mainline Protestant tradition opposed to the trends of growth in the evangelical Protestant tradition can be best understood by focusing on the unique relationship between a religious organization’s degree of tension with society and that organization’s congregational attendance.


Best Senior Thesis in Religious Studies