Jump directly to the content
Apr 13, 2012

New Research: Universalism, Pluralism, Pastors, & the People

We released some new research yesterday at LifeWay Research showing 84% of Protestant pastors disagree that eternal life can be obtained through religions other than Christianity. That view is generally called "universalism" or "pluralism" (though technically not the same thing, they are often used interchangeably and relate to one another). So, based on this data, Protestant pastors are overwhelmingly not pluralist/universalist.

However, the same cannot be said of their church members. When presented with the same statement, just 48 percent of adults who attend a Protestant church once a month or more disagree strongly and 9 percent disagree somewhat. A total of 26 percent agree. In other words, protestant church attendees are substantially more pluralist/universalist than their pastors.

Some highlights from the pastor research:

• Pastors in large cities are more likely to believe that other religions lead to eternal life.

• Pastors identifying themselves as evangelical are less pluralist/universalist than those self-identifying as mainline.

• Pastors with a graduate degree are more likely to strongly agree (7 percent to 3 percent) and less likely to strongly disagree (70 percent to 90 percent) than pastors with a bachelor's degree at most.

The full church member research will be released later in the year in conjunction with the upcoming book Transformational Discipleship by Eric Geiger, Michael Kelly and Philip Nation.

Here is a graphic with the numbers:

Related Topics:None
Posted:April 13, 2012 at 12:00 am

Comments

Please read our comment policy before you weigh in, and then feel free to comment.
To add a comment you need to be a registered user or Christianity Today subscriber.
or
Subscribe
or

More From This Blog

Worship Leaders Are Not Rock Stars

Worship Leaders Are Not Rock Stars

Worship leaders to lead worship, not become rock stars.
Morning Roundup 3/31/15

Morning Roundup 3/31/15

Resurrection of Religion; Liberty University and the GOP; God Amidst Relativism
3 Reasons Public Places (Including Schools) Should Be Open to Churches

3 Reasons Public Places (Including Schools) Should Be Open to Churches

The Supreme Court denied hearing the case involving New York City's right to keep religious services out of schools.
4 Reasons Small Groups are Vital to Your Church’s Health

4 Reasons Small Groups are Vital to Your Church’s Health

Small groups are important for your church because they foster discipleship and friendship:

Follow Ed Stetzer

Exchange Logo

Cast: Ed Stetzer

Tags:

Read ED Stetzer's Books

See All

Follow Christianity Today

Christianity Today
New Research: Universalism, Pluralism, Pastors, & the People