The Church in “Post-Christian” Dane County: New Survey Data

Rev. Dr. Christopher B. James November 20, 2019

Madison was recently ranked by the Barna Group as the eleventh most “post-Christian city in America,” a designation that presents opportunities as well as challenges to the Church. Based on research exploring the 300+ churches in Dane County, covering everything from demographics and worship styles to correlations between location, theology, and political alignment, Christopher James presented on his new findings on the state of Christianity in and around the Madison area.

Moving past nostalgic reminisces and laments of decline, James’ research captures the wave of ecumenical diversity in Dane County, and highlights signs of life that point to promising opportunities for partnership in the gospel.

This data is part of an ongoing, international study of Christianity in Late-Modern Western Cities, inspired by James’ pioneering study of Seattle, Washington, Church Planting in Post-Christian Soil: Theology and Practice(Oxford University Press, 2017).

Rev. Dr. Christopher B. James is Associate Professor of Evangelism and Missional Christianity at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. There he leads the Master of Mission and Discipleship degree and a Doctor of Ministry cohort on “Leadership in a Changing Context” with Dr. Alan Roxburgh. He is author of Church Planting in Post-Christian Soil: Theology and Practice (Oxford University Press, 2017) and holds a Ph.D. in Practical Theology from Boston University School of Theology, a M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a B.A. from Wheaton College. His research has been featured by several media outlets including the SeattleMet magazine, Seattle’s NPR station, The Daily Beast, and the RePlacing Church podcast. Chris is Director of the Dane Churches Project as well as Missio Madison, an innovative cohort-based initiative that equips missional leaders to thrive in the Greater Madison area.