Expanding NCD in the United States: How Natural Church Development Can Help Reverse the Tide of a Declining Christian Population

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS)


College of Christian Ministries and Religion


Department of Christian Ministries and Religion

Primary Advisor

Sam Hemby, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Charles H. Gaulden, D.Min.


The author proposes that Natural Church Development (NCD) is widely successful around the world, comports with and assists the Great Commission as given by Christ in the Bible, and, when acted upon, can properly help the Church in her God-given mission to develop the heads, hands, and hearts of its members throughout the United States today. To address and develop the Church, the definition of Ekklesia will need to be ascertained from the text and applied throughout the process. Furthermore, though not failing in every area -- for how can this be? -- the Church in America is, on the whole, in numerical and influential decline, running thus against the biblical purposes of the Ekklesia at large! One answer to this can be found in Christian Schwarz's research in NCD, which has been conducted in over 70,000 local churches in over 50 denominational types found all across the world. The history and framework for this movement is critical in understanding the positive role that it can have within church development. Special attention will also be given to revivalism in America and how Natural Church Development can promote the cause of faith in the midst of and after any sudden influx of new Christians in the church community abroad....

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