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, vol. 72, no. 3, Jan. 1994, pp. 749–74. Scopus, doi:10.1093/sf/72.3.749. Full Text

Chaves, M. A. “Review of Beyond Establishment: Protestant Identity in a Post-Protestant Age.” Contemporary Sociology, edited by Jackson Carroll and Wade Clark Roof, vol. 23, 1994, pp. 438–39.

Chaves, M., and J. C. Cavendish. “More Evidence on U.S. Catholic Church Attendance.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 33, no. 4, Blackwell Publishing, 1994, pp. 376–81.

Chaves, Mark. “Intraorganizational Power and Internal Secularization in Protestant Denominations.” American Journal of Sociology, vol. 99, no. 1, University of Chicago Press, July 1993, pp. 1–48. Crossref, doi:10.1086/230228. Full Text

Chaves, M. “Denominations as Dual Structures: An Organizational Analysis.” Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review, vol. 54, no. 2, Jan. 1993, pp. 147–69. Scopus, doi:10.2307/3712137. Full Text

Hadaway, C. K., et al. “What the Polls Don't Show: A Closer Look at U.S. Church Attendance.” American Sociological Association, 1993.

Chaves, M., and D. E. Cann. “Reply to Boudon and Tong.” Rationality and Society, vol. 4, no. 4, Jan. 1992, pp. 476–80. Scopus, doi:10.1177/1043463192004004010. Full Text

Chaves, M., and D. E. Cann. “Regulation, Pluralism, and Religious Market Structure:Explaining Religion's Vitality.” Rationality and Society, vol. 4, no. 3, Jan. 1992, pp. 272–90. Scopus, doi:10.1177/1043463192004003003. Full Text

Chaves, M., and L. M. Higgins. “Comparing the Community Involvement of Black and White Congregations.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 31, no. 4, SOC SCIENTIFIC STUDY RELIGION, 1992, pp. 425–40.

Chaves, M. “Segmentation in a religious labor market.” Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review, vol. 52, no. 2, Jan. 1991, pp. 143–58. Scopus, doi:10.2307/3710960. Full Text