Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type


Primary Advisor

Dr. Richard Harris

Second Advisor

Dr. Kevin Weaver


This thesis reviews the role of intent in creating a racially integrated church congregation in the United States. It considers a brief history of the American church’s relationship to race, surveying church involvement in slavery, segregation, and Civil Rights. It reviews the current state of race relations in the church through modern research on church responses to race and integration efforts, and it presents novel research on the factor of church mission in building racial integration in individual congregations. Research consisted of interviewing members of leadership at a successfully integrated church in the northeastern United States. Findings indicate that intent to be racially diverse must be followed by specific actions in various structural aspects of an individual church to be successful.