Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Darren Marks


When church attendance declines, congregational amalgamation is often looked to as a solution. To that end, institutional church bodies responsible for ecclesiastical governance offer guidance literature as a means of shepherding congregations through this complex process. As it currently exists, however, such guidance literature on how to proceed with amalgamation focuses on practical matters, and neglects a theological dimension. The aim of this paper is to highlight this paucity of theological foundation in matters of church amalgamation, and posits that this engenders sub-optimal conditions for successful congregational amalgamation outcomes. It looks primarily to Friedrich Schleiermacher for theological insights that may be useful in times of turbulent transition. As one mechanism of cultural development in contemporary times, faith based institutions should engage with theological ideas and discourse deliberatively and explicitly as a foundation for exploration of such issues as identity and community formation.