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. “Family Structure and Protestant Church Attendance: The Sociological Basis of Cohort and Age Effects.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 30, no. 4, SOC SCIENTIFIC STUDY RELIGION, 1991, pp. 501–14.

Chaves, M. “Holding the Cohort: Reply to Hout and Greeley.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 29, no. 4, SOC SCIENTIFIC STUDY RELIGION, 1990, pp. 525–30.

Chaves, M. “Secularization and Religious Revival: Evidence from U.S. Church Attendance Rates, 1972-1986.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 28, no. 4, Blackwell Publishing, 1989, pp. 464–77.

Chaves, M. “In the Meantime... (Response to Ploch).” Sociological Analysis, vol. 49, no. 3, Oxford University Press, 1988, pp. 304–05.

Chaves, M. A. “The Changing Career Tracks of Elite Disciples Professionals.” William B. Eerdmans, 1880, pp. 343–58.