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

Barmen, Emily, and Mark Chaves. “Lessons for Multisite Nonprofits from the United Church of Christ.” Nonprofit Management and Leadership, vol. 11, no. 3, Wiley, 2001, pp. 339–52. Crossref, doi:10.1002/nml.11307. Full Text

Chaves Mark, W. “Welfare Reform and Religious Congregations: Rhetoric and Reality.” Society, vol. 38 (January/February), 2001, pp. 21–27.

Chaves, M. “Challenges for the 21st Century.” The Journal of the Interim Ministry Network, 2001 Annual Review, 2001, pp. 27–39.

Konieczny, M. E., and M. Chaves. “Resources, race, and female-headed congregations in the United States.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 39, no. 3, Sept. 2000.

Chaves, M., and W. Tsitsos. “Are congregations constrained by government? empirical results from the National Congregations Study.” Journal of Church and State, vol. 42, no. 2, Mar. 2000, pp. 335–44.

Putnam, Robert D. “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.” Christian Century, vol. July 19-26, 2000, 2000, pp. 754–56.

Chaves, M., et al. “The National Congregations Study: Background, methods, and selected results.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 38, no. 4, Jan. 1999, pp. 458–76. Scopus, doi:10.2307/1387606. Full Text

Chaves, M. “Religious congregations and welfare reform: Who will take advantage of "charitable choice"?American Sociological Review, vol. 64, no. 6, Jan. 1999, pp. 836–46. Scopus, doi:10.2307/2657405. Full Text

Oates, Mary J. “The Catholic Philanthropic Tradition in America.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, vol. 27, 1998, pp. 95–98.