How many non-denominations in the US and what causes this?

Can the culture and the freedoom of choice be the results of this growing number of non-denominations?

Jesus started a nonDenominational church

Where did you get that information?

Exactly! Before the hands of humans severed his church there were no denominations, just the One Holy, Apostolic & Catholic Church.

Jesus started one Church, to be “everywhere the same”.

Which Church is it?

Where is that written?

Ephesians 4:5 for starters :slight_smile:

Those in Christ are of one faith, faith in Christ.

30,000 denominations and counting is not 1 faith no matter how much you try to trivialize the “secondary matters”.

You can’t even find two Protestants that agree on baptism (also mentioned in the verse I cited).

In order for this statement to be true, there must be as many different theologies on baptism as there are Protestants.

The number of Protestants in the world are in the tens if not hundreds of million.

So in order for this statement to be true, the number of different theologies on baptism must be in the millions.

So just how many theologies on baptism are there.

Catholic apologetics strikes again.

I’m sorry but I don’t think Jesus wanted 30,000 denominations, but He wanted one church. One. Not 30,000 with contradictory beliefs. The Holy Spirit does not guide these churches. The Holy Spirit has guided the Catholic church, since it has been through the mill, and still stands and holds it’s head up high.

You’re absolutely correct! I obviously didn’t think about this critically before posting.

I should have stated:

Protestantism in general (and Non-Denominationalism in specific) has unity in neither belief nor practice with regards to baptism.

Divide and conquer, the strategy of the evil one.

Sancta Maria, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!


Didn’t you hear about the survey of Protestants, a few weeks ago? The question about baptism was multiple-choice, but no two Protestants checked the same box.

(It probably goes without saying that I’m kidding; but given the nature of the internet, you just never know.)


How many non-denominations in the US and what causes this?

1990 -Religious Congregations Membership Data (only for churches 300+ adherents in cities of 20,000 or more) **[LEFT] **Non Charismatic Nondenominational Churches = ****1,363 churches and **1,207,173 adherents **

Charismatic Nondenominational Churches = **829 churches and ** 794,254 adherents

TOTAL ****2,192 NOn-Denominational churches and ****2,001,427 adherents


of course that was 1990, if someone has newer data Id be really interested.

I found this on yahooanswers with no linked source and it’s referring to individuals, not congregations:

Estimate based on a 2001 ARIS phone survey.

Catholic: 50,873,000
Baptist (unspecified): 33,830,000
Protestant Non-Denom: 4,647,000
Methodist: 14,150,000
Lutheran: 9,580,000
Non-Denominational 14,150,000

As for the 2nd half of the question about why they exist:

Non-denominational churches are growing quickly in the US, I have watched as several churches in my area have recently dropped their denominational ties. the Study above showed it rise from 1% of Protestants to 4% in only 4 years. Many of these so called “Non-Denominational Churches” are actually Inter-Denominational. The Term inter-Denominaitonal never caught on IMO, so the two are confused or both get called non-denominational. A true non-denominational church believes that it is wrong to have Denominations at all, Denominations artificially divide the Body of Christ and cause many problems. Inter-Denominational Churches simply welcome every Christian regardless of their Denomination.

  1. Churches have a Growing desire to be ecumenical. Part of it is a desire for unity and another part of the desire for being ecumenical is from a generation growing up in a country that preaches tolerance and political correctness at every turn.
  2. These churches want to reach out to people who would otherwise not join a Church and to those who are hurting, lost, and need spiritual and physical healing. While being a Denomination doesn’t stop that from happening, many people have preconceived ideas or bad memories about certain denominations.
  3. Many break off ties with their denominations due to corruption and/or lack of common goals from the leadership at the heads of the denomination.

In my personal experience, there is much less bickering, and church splitting and much more unity in non-denominational churches than denominational ones. In many years of going to non-denominational churches I experienced no church splits, where in denominations I was around during 5 (30 years in non-denominational churches and only 3 in denominations.) The stronger unity among non-denominational churches something that has always drawn me to them, So I don’t get the inevitable posts about how each one is its own denomination and how they are more divided etc.

The down side of non-denominational churches is that the teachings tend to be more watered down, more basics and very little deep learning. Forget milk before meat… they have the market cornered on milk before more milk, be a vegetarian! Pastors tippytoe around “Controversial teachings” too much. Denominational churches have the advantage of authority to lend them a chance to really TEACH.

:ehh: Try citing some sources instead of exaggerating for effect or at least cite it as your personal opinion.

Syele, I appreciated your post on the facts and other data - I can see both advantages and disadvantages you mentioned in your post.

this link is a pretty good brake down on the 33,000. that number does include what it list as 900 Catholic denomination so you would have to remove that from the total. also since they split the various Catholic rites into separate groups that more than likely happened else were as well. given that I would still feel comfortable saying that there are well over 28,000 separate non Catholic denominations out there.

did it ever occur to you that if they are off on the Catholics by 899 that their protestant stats are probably badly off as well? Generally if a statistic is made by a certain criteria, and that criteria is wrong, it will be wrong for the whole study.

from your source:

These 33,000 are subdivided into “6 major ecclesiastico-cultural mega-blocs”, and ordering them by denomination size we have (I am rounding up or down slightly for convenience, using year 2000 figures) :
*]Independents (about 22000)
*]Protestants (about 9000)
*]“Marginals” (about 1600)
*]Orthodox (781)
*]Roman Catholics (242)
*]Anglicans (168)[/LIST]

it specifically says that 9000 of them are protestant, not 28,000.

Then you look at WHY there are 242 Catholic Denominations and the reason is cause there are 242 countries represented. So divide those protestant denominations by 242 and you get 37. Id say as all denominations are probably not in all 242 countries you could even Quadruple that… (Im trying to be generous here) so we have somewhere around 149. even if you added up all the marginals

However, if you combine Protestants with ** Independents** and Anglicans ( [22000 + 9000 + 168] / 33000) it is 94% of the total or 31,000+ . We will see below that most (about 97%) of the "Independent" churches are indeed Protestants.

ok but that is STILL divided up by 242 countries! So you got 23068 Divided by 242 =95. But 95 isnt so dramatic sounding is it? lets Quadruple it to make up for not all of them being in all countries… Still looking at about 381! not thousands!

Now I personally believe its more than 149 but that was looking at the data you cited. Barretts study does not say there are 28,000 protestant denominations. Note that both “Roman Catholics” and “Protestants” are considered ONE Megabloc each. You are trying to say that the Catholic one should not be divided up but the Protestant one should be divided up more than it is. That is not an honest reading of the source material.

My opinion is that source has way too many flaws to be considered creditable!


Ok so I will next cover the link that the bottom of that source…

Do you want a specific list of Protestant denominations? Here is 5000+

it claims to be a listing of over 5,000 Protestant denominations.

On examination of the list I see:

*]361 Baptist Churches. Why are they all listed as INDIVIDUAL Denominations?
*]105 Methodist Churches. Why are they all listed as INDIVIDUAL Denominations?
*]98 Anglican Churches. Why are they all listed as INDIVIDUAL Denominations?
*]15 Presbyterian Churches. Same Question!
*]25 Society of Friends.
*]13 Catholic Churches. Why are they listed as 13 PROTESTANT Denominations anyhow?:eek:
*]12 Salvation Army installments. Ummmm Salvation Army is not even technically a Church much less 12 Denominations! :eek:[/LIST]Ok so at this point I’m bored of searching the document by Denominations and I chose those at random to search. Lets examine what data I got in those few mins form this source At least two denominaitons reperesented on that list of 5,000 are not even Denominations of Protestantism. Most Denominations represented are represented by multiple Churches. The list is a list of Congregatios, not of Denominations.

The Site caliming it is a listing of over 5,000 denominaitons is misrepresenting the facts.

Sorry I have found too much at that is NOT credible for any argument appealing ot it to keep my attention any longer.

Furthur, A listing of Denominaitons is not very useful for determining the answer to the ops questions of how many non-denominations in the US. The listing of 5,000 werent even all US congregations.

you asked for a source i gave a source. for myself i can look around the city of 40,000 people i live in and if you take those numbers and then look around the my town they are comparable. 3 catholic churches ( all in communion with one another). then the fun begins there are church of Christ, disciples of of Christ, 5 or 6 different baptist. 4 different Methodist, 2 different Presbyterians. Church of God assemblies of God, SDA, LDS reform, i am forgetting some and not even going to list the independent and non denoms.

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