Modernization, Megachurches and the Urban Face of Christianity in the Global South - Princeton Theological Seminary

Modernization, Megachurches and the Urban Face of Christianity in the Global South

January 13, 2020


In collaboration with Canisius College, Professor Afe Adogame is helping to conduct the first comprehensive, comparative, and empirical study of huge megachurches in the global south with congregations of over 15,000 members each. The project focuses on churches in 10 countries — Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and South Korea. Seven Regional Project Leaders (RPL), each having a sub-grant from Canisius, will form research teams and focus on specific areas. Professor Adogame is the RPL in charge of research in Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. Reporting to him are six researchers, two in each country.

The focus of each RPL in their assigned area is on the following:

  • How did these churches become so large?
  • Who attends them and why?
  • How do they differentiate themselves organizationally, theologically, and spiritually?
  • How do they shape the world around them and how are they shaped by that world?
  • How do they borrow from the culture of globalization and resist it with local variations?
  • What can megachurches teach us about the future of global Christianity in relationship to secularization?

A great many factors were given consideration in selecting participating churches, including the willingness of the leadership to cooperate with the researchers. Others factors were gender dynamics, unique histories of the founders, theological outlook and teachings, unique programs and ministries, beliefs and practices, appropriation of new and old media technologies, numerical growth and geographical mobility of the church.

By country, the churches working with Prof. Adogame are:

  • Nigeria – The Redeemed Christian Church of God (represented by churches at the RCCG headquarters and at Lagos and Calabar)
  • Ghana – Church of the Pentecost and Lighthouse Chapel International
  • Kenya – two neo-Pentecostal churches: Faith Evangelistic Ministry and Kingdom Seekers Fellowship.