Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dianne M. Dawson Daniels

Second Advisor

Mark A. Frisius

Third Advisor

H. Stanton Tuttle

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning


This study examined the decline of church attendance and church participation for the Millennial generation specific to the African American church. Church attendance and church participation has been integral in the culture of the African American church, and the decline for the Millennial generation is of significant importance. One hundred and forty-five Millennials from three African American churches participated in the study and were asked to explain their perception of today’s church. Three main research questions covered demographic factors related to the decline of church participation and church attendance, belief patterns and opinions, and the role of Millennials in the African American church as perceived by the respondents. The study revealed common characteristics for Millennials with current literature of the topic. However, Millennials in the study indicated that church is more about spirituality and not a religious life. Implications of the study are helpful for the church to specifically target this generation to gain a better and understanding of their expectations. The research findings are useful to advance the understanding regarding the decline of church attendance and church participation for Millennials, as well as to provide insight to African American churches, pastors, and ministry leaders to connect and engage the largest generation in U.S. history for the African American church to remain relevant in the 21st century.


Ed.D. dissertation completed in 2016 for Olivet Nazarene University.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.