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. "Secularization as Declining Religious Authority." Social Forces 72.3 (1994): 749-774.

Chaves, M. "Denominations as Dual Structures: An Organizational Analysis." Sociology of Religion 54.2 (1993): 147-169.

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

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, , Mark, , and Cann, DE. "Reply to Boudon and Tong." Rationality and Society 4.4 (1992): 476-480. (Academic Article)

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." SA. Sociological Analysis 52.2 (1991): 143-.

Chaves, M. "Holding the Cohort: Reply to Hout and Greeley." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 29.4 (1990): 525-530.