Mark Chaves

Mark Chaves

Professor of Sociology

External address: 
Soc-Psych Bldg, Rm 348, Box 90088, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 660-5783


Professor Chaves specializes in the sociology of religion. Most of his research is on the social organization of religion in the United States. Among other projects, he directs the National Congregations Study (NCS), a wide-ranging survey of a nationally representative sample of religious congregations conducted in 1998, 2006-07, and 2012. NCS results have helped us to better understand many aspects of congregational life in the United States. Professor Chaves is the author of American Religion: Contemporary Trends (Princeton, 2011),  Congregations in America (Harvard, 2004), Ordaining Women: Culture and Conflict in Religious Organizations (Harvard, 1997), and many articles.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Harvard University 1991
  • M.Div., Harvard University 1985

Chaves, Mark, and John R. Sutton. “Organizational Consolidation in American Protestant Denominations, 1890-1990.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 43, no. 1, Wiley, Mar. 2004, pp. 51–66. Crossref, doi:10.1111/j.1468-5906.2004.00217.x. Full Text

Beyerlein, Kraig, and Mark Chaves. “The Political Activities of Religious Congregations in the United States.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 42, no. 2, Wiley, June 2003, pp. 229–46. Crossref, doi:10.1111/1468-5906.00175. Full Text

Chaves, M. “Religious authority in the modern world.” Society, vol. 40, no. 3, Jan. 2003, pp. 38–40. Scopus, doi:10.1007/s12115-003-1034-8. Full Text

Chaves Mark, W. “Debunking Charitable Choice: The Evidence Doesn’t Support the Political Left or Right.” Stanford Social Innovation Review, vol. 1, no. 2, 2003, pp. 28–36.

Chaves, M. “Religious organizations: Data resources and research opportunities.” American Behavioral Scientist, vol. 45, no. 10, June 2002, pp. 1523-1549+1467. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0002764202045010005. Full Text

Chaves, Mark. “Financing American religion.” New Directions for Philanthropic Fundraising, vol. 2002, no. 35, Wiley, 2002, pp. 41–54. Crossref, doi:10.1002/pf.3504. Full Text

Chaves, M. “Abiding Faith.” Contexts, vol. 2, no. Summer 2002, 2002, pp. 19–26.

Chaves, M. “Going on faith: six myths about faith-based initiatives.” Christian Century, vol. 118, no. 25, Sept. 2001, pp. 20–23.

Chaves, M., and P. S. Gorski. “Religious pluralism and religious participation.” Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 27, Jan. 2001, pp. 261–81. Scopus, doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.27.1.261. Full Text

Chaves, M., and W. Tsitsos. “Congregations and social services: What they do, how they do it, and with whom.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, vol. 30, no. 4, Jan. 2001, pp. 660–83. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0899764001304003. Full Text