The Financing of American Evangelical Religion

The ISAE, through the Financing of American Evangelical Religion project, studied the historical dimensions that money and finance have played in American Evangelicalism.


The project aimed to promote study of the way evangelical churches and other evangelical agencies have been funded, to chart the role of money in evangelical history, and to probe the theological place of economic issues among North American evangelicals.

In the process of promoting focused research on money, however, the Institute worked to illuminate broad questions of the moral, political, and social economy in which evangelical churches have always played a prominent role. The project's goal was to provide theologically-informed historical research that spoke to the concerns of both those interested in the history of North American evangelicalism, and to those who supported and directed evangelical denominations and institutions.

The major components of the project included hosting an invitational consultation with two evening lectures that were open to the public: Michael Hamilton discussed the post-WWII development and history of Evangelicals and finance and Thomas Berg presented research and analysis of the New Era Scandal's implications for evangelical understandings of money and finance.

The project also commissioned sixteen grants to study evangelicals' financial realities in three critical periods of North American history: 1791-1858; 1870-1920; 1945-1995.

Project Volumes

More Money, More Ministry: Money and Evangelicals in Recent North American History (Eerdmans, 2000) explores the role that money has played in the growth of North American evangelicalism over the last 150 years. Christian Smith (UNC-Chapel Hill) says "This stimulating work pushes our understanding of American evangelicalism into new and intriuging territory. The authors are expert, the case studies illuminating, and the conclusions bound to generate productive thought, discussion, and continued inquiry on the relationship of faith and finance."

The second book published from this project is God and Mammon: Protestants, Money, and the Market, 1790-1860 (Oxford University Press, 2001).


Lilly Endowment, Inc.


This project was funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment >>

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