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, M, Schraeder, PJ, and Sprindys, M. "State Regulation of Religion and Muslim Religious Vitality in the Industrialized West." The Journal of Politics 56.4 (January 1, 1994): 1087-1097. Full Text

Chaves, M. "Secularization as declining religious authority." Social Forces 72.3 (January 1, 1994): 749-774. Full Text

Chaves, M. "Intraorganizational Power and Internal Secularization in Protestant Denominations." American Journal of Sociology 99.1 (July 1993): 1-48. Full Text

Chaves, M. "Denominations as Dual Structures: An Organizational Analysis." Sociology of Religion 54.2 (1993): 147-147. Full Text

Hadaway, CK, Marler, PL, and Chaves, M. "What the Polls Don't Show: A Closer Look at U.S. Church Attendance." American Sociological Association (1993).

Chaves, M, and Cann, DE. "Regulation, Pluralism, and Religious Market Structure:Explaining Religion's Vitality." Rationality and Society 4.3 (January 1, 1992): 272-290. Full Text

Chaves, M, and Higgins, LM. "Comparing the Community Involvement of Black and White Congregations." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 31.4 (1992): 425-440.

Chaves, M, and Cann, DE. "Reply to Boudon and Tong." Rationality and Society 4.4 (January 1, 1992): 476-480. Full Text

Chaves, M. "Family Structure and Protestant Church Attendance: The Sociological Basis of Cohort and Age Effects." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 30.4 (1991): 501-514.

Chaves, M. "Segmentation in a religious labor market." Sociology of Religion: a Quarterly Review 52.2 (January 1, 1991): 143-158. Full Text