Quaker Studies

Research Note: Fifty Years of American Quaker Statistics

Quaker Studies (2018), 23, (1), 121–135.

Abstract

American Quakerism, at least in terms of membership, is in serious decline. This decline has affected FUM-affiliated pastoral yearly meetings most severely, though nearly all of the oldest yearly meetings, regardless of theology or worship style, have declining membership. Some Evangelical Friends have seen tremendous growth in worship attendance, though this growth has been uneven. Where there has been growth in either membership or attendance, it appears to be largely the result of the establishment of new meetings and churches. If American Quakerism, in any form, is to survive over the long term, it must find ways to create new congregations at an increasing rate.

Non-pastoral Quakerism has seen the least decline in membership, though Evangelical Quakerism has seen the most growth in average attendance. Pastoral Friends remain a majority in membership and a very large majority in worship attendance.

Research Note: Fifty Years of American Quaker Statistics

Abstract

American Quakerism, at least in terms of membership, is in serious decline. This decline has affected FUM-affiliated pastoral yearly meetings most severely, though nearly all of the oldest yearly meetings, regardless of theology or worship style, have declining membership. Some Evangelical Friends have seen tremendous growth in worship attendance, though this growth has been uneven. Where there has been growth in either membership or attendance, it appears to be largely the result of the establishment of new meetings and churches. If American Quakerism, in any form, is to survive over the long term, it must find ways to create new congregations at an increasing rate.

Non-pastoral Quakerism has seen the least decline in membership, though Evangelical Quakerism has seen the most growth in average attendance. Pastoral Friends remain a majority in membership and a very large majority in worship attendance.


Details

Author details

Hinshaw, Gregory P.