Pentecostalism: Azusa Street origins

The modern Pentecostal movement began as a local revival on Azusa Street in Los Angeles in April 1906 and has since spread around the globe. Many call Pentecostalism Christianity’s most notable development of the 20th century. Scholars estimate that there are 10 million Pentecostals in the United States and 500 million worldwide. The movement is far larger outside the United States, in Latin America, Africa and Asia, where Christianity is experiencing its greatest growth. Once regarded by many, if not most, Christians as a marginal and almost embarrassing style of faith in which converts are “slain in the spirit” and adherents speak in tongues or perform miracle healings, Pentecostalism has become more mainstream in recent years. Yet this ecstatic Christian movement often remains a poorly understood phenomenon even as it exerts a major influence. This source guide offers an opportunity to explore a fast-growing and underreported movement in Christianity.

Why it matters

Pentecostalism has a cultural impact that goes well beyond its numbers because of the ethnic diversity and strong beliefs of its followers. Its swift growth, combined with the way it resonates with many cultural trends, promises to make it an increasingly significant force in public life.

Issues to explore


Who is a Pentecostal? By the classic definition, a Pentecostal is someone who has undergone a “baptism of the Holy Spirit,” usually accompanied by speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues is usually either “glossolalia,” or speaking in extra-human, mystical language that requires an interpreter who is also in a state of ecstasy, or “xenoglossia” (also known as “zenolalia”), or speaking in a foreign language that the convert never knew before. Pentecostal experiences are also often accompanied by dancing and outbursts such as “holy laughing” that reflect an almost drunken joy in the spirit. Pentecostals generally emerge from the “holiness” side of historic Protestantism and can define themselves in part by their departure from traditional liturgical worship styles. Pentecostals tend to be doctrinally and culturally conservative. These boundaries can grow fuzzy, however, especially in the fluid religious landscape. The non-institutional, congregational dynamic of Pentecostalism means that Pentecostals often find homes in evangelical or fundamentalist Protestant houses of worship. Conversely, many emerging churches or traditionally evangelical denominations can take on aspects of Pentecostalism.


How many Pentecostals are there? The spiritual fluidity and individualized dynamic of Pentecostalism make it especially hard to determine precise figures. It is difficult to count all of the various Pentecostal churches and houses of worship, much less the number of regular congregants. Pentecostal churches are often uninterested in reporting their own membership figures, church demographers say. Also, the varying thresholds of what constitutes a “Pentecostal” make an accurate census problematic.

Estimates of the number of Pentecostals in the United States range. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found in its U.S. religious landscape survey that 3.4 percent of Americans identify with a Pentecostal denomination. Globally, the Pentecostal World Fellowship boasts 59 member organizations. also provides a good overview of the membership picture.


Relations with other Christians remain a challenge for Pentecostals, especially as the movement merges into the religious and cultural mainstream. Contrary to widespread belief, Pentecostals have profound doctrinal and cultural differences with Baptists, Methodists, fundamentalists and others who do not agree with many practices and beliefs of Pentecostals.

That is evidenced by the Nov.15, 2005, decision by the Southern Baptist Convention to bar future candidates for the International Mission Board who use a “private prayer language,” that is, speaking tongues or exhibiting “any other charismatic manifestations.” That decision was made despite the fact that the board’s president, Jerry Rankin, said he has spoken in tongues since the 1970s, something that was known when he was elected by the SBC in 1993.

  • “One Faith Fits All — or Else”

    As Pentecostalism spreads into traditionally Catholic areas in Asia, Africa and especially Latin America, its popularity has created often fierce disputes with the Catholic Church, as this Dec. 15, 2005, Los Angeles Times story reports.


From the beginning, modern Pentecostalism appealed equally to whites and blacks. Today Pentecostal churches are some of the most racially mixed congregations in American religious life, and some believe Pentecostalism offers the best matrix for true racial harmony in Christianity. Pentecostalism’s diversity has grown along with its numerical growth, as thousands of Asians, Africans and Latino Americans joined its fold. The expansion of Pentecostalism internationally has also fed this diversity. White Anglo Pentecostals constitute a small minority of the global community. While diversity is a strength, it is also seen as a challenge to maintaining a cohesive identity and doctrinal base for global Pentecostalism. Women have frequently held prominent leadership positions, setting Pentecostalism apart from many other conservative traditions.

Sex, scandals and cash

Scandals have haunted Pentecostalism almost since its beginnings, as various charismatic leaders have used their charms to procure sex and money rather than souls. They include famed 1920s evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, who faked her own kidnapping and married and divorced several times; Jimmy Swaggart, whose sexual and financial improprieties led to tearful confessions; and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, who divorced after a huge financial scandal. The movement’s penchant for slick television ministries and splashy fundraising drives continues to feed suspicions of hucksterism among many, even though experts say high-profile scandals have led to reforms and better oversight of ministries. Still, they say the generally unregulated, unorganized polity of Pentecostalism and the personality-driven appeal of many Pentecostal ministries can lead to abuses. Many others see Pentecostalism’s continuing embrace of the so-called prosperity gospel, which promises congregants earthly rewards for their prayers and donations, as a suspect use of the faith, at best.

Spiritual, not religious

The trend toward a more “spiritual” rather than “religious” style of faith, experts say, has played to the strengths of Pentecostalism, which emphasizes an ecstatic, individual encounter with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Consequently, one can find a variety of Pentecostal-inspired movements, such as “Charismatic Catholics,” even in the traditional, liturgy-oriented churches. Moreover, Pentecostals are more willing than many other denominations to use television and other media tools to broadcast their message, which makes them appealing to the growing numbers of unchurched young people seeking a less tradition-bound experience of faith. Experts also say the country’s demographic shift to the South and West, where Pentecostalism has always flourished, has brought more Americans than ever into contact with Pentecostal congregations. That has in turn had an impact on Pentecostals themselves, who some leaders fear are becoming a tamer and more middle-class version of the movement’s original roof-raising, working-class self.


Pentecostal preachers and politicians are gaining public influence. Historically, Pentecostals have not been an organized political presence and have tended to focus on individual spiritual conversion and experience rather than societal and political causes. Even as their brethren on the so-called Christian right, the Baptists and evangelicals, became more politically active, Pentecostals did not, at least in an organized fashion. Experts say that may be changing beyond the emergence of Pentecostals such as former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. They say renewed intensity over social issues, such as gay marriage, abortion and genetic engineering, are mobilizing Pentecostals.

Mission and beliefs

Pentecostals reject the dogmatism of many traditional churches, but they have often divided and subdivided among themselves over interpretations of tenets such as the definition of the Trinity. That makes it difficult to define Pentecostalism theologically. But Pentecostals tend to share a focus on outreach in order to convert unbelievers or wayward Christians, a belief in the imminence of the Second Coming of Jesus, the centrality of the Holy Spirit as the vehicle for conversion, and the power of the Holy Spirit to affect healing and bring blessings – often in a material form known as the “prosperity gospel” – to sincere petitioners.


Polls show that Pentecostals are likely to give a higher priority to religion in their life, which may amplify its public influence.


  • “Spirit and Power”

    In October 2006, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released a 10-country survey on Pentecostals and charismatics (whom it together calls “renewalists”), covering issues of practice and belief. It found that one in four Christians are part of these movements. Read the executive summary, which links to the 233-page PDF report.

  • “Azusa Street Centennial”

    The Azusa Street Centennial was the major Pentecostal anniversary observance and was held April 25-29, 2006, in Los Angeles. It featured a raft of famous Pentecostals, led by T.D. Jakes, Paula White, Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland.

  • Pneumatology: Exploring the Work of the Spirit

    “Pneumatology: Exploring the Work of the Spirit” was the title of a November 2004 symposium sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. The conference participants offered a range of perspectives on issues related to Pentecostal spirituality

  • “The Azuza Street Revival”

    See a website on the history of the Azusa Street Revival.

  • Assemblies of God USA

    Assemblies of God is a national and international organization that makes up the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination of some 66 million members and adherents worldwide, and over 3 million members in the U.S. The organization works to promote religion itself and aspects of practice to its members. The church’s four-fold mission is expressed through evangelism, discipleship, worship and compassion.


Pentecostal publishing is a growth industry, as it is across the Christian spectrum. Pathway Press and Bridge-Logos Publishing are two examples.


Read a July 24, 2014 story by Christian Caryl for Foreign Policy magazine about the decline of Catholicism and the rise of Pentecostalism in Rwanda after the genocide.

Pentecostalism basics

Azusa Street history

The birth of the modern Pentecostal movement is generally traced to an April 18, 1906, story in the Los Angeles Daily News whose front-page headline spoke of a “Weird Babel of Tongues” from a “New Sect of Fanatics” at a former livery stable at 312 Azusa St. in downtown Los Angeles. In fact, the Azusa Street revival had been building for some weeks before it broke into the public consciousness and spread across the nation’s religious landscape. Experts also place it in the context of the periodic revivals, or Great Awakenings, that historians have identified throughout in American history. In that sense, Pentecostalism grew out of the nationwide spiritual ferment at the end of the 19th century. The Azusa Street revival lasted for three years, until 1909.

Biblical basis

Pentecostalism takes its name and inspiration from the original Christian Pentecost, when the New Testament says that the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles in Jerusalem 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection. What Christians now call Pentecost, or “the birthday of the church,” occurred on the Jewish feast of Shavuot, which the disciples were celebrating. Shavuot occurs 50 days after Passover, which is when tradition says Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead three days later. The Pentecost scene is related in Chapter Two of the Book of Acts of the Apostles. Like the original Pentecost, modern Pentecostalism focuses on the Holy Spirit, the third aspect of the Trinity, and on an individual, spirit-filled experience of God.


  • Azusa Street’s integrated worship did not last long, and white Pentecostals tended to congregate under the banner of the Assemblies of God, while African-Americans organized under the Church of God in Christ. The two groups did not reconcile until 1994.
  • The decentralized polity of Pentecostalism, combined with the racial and doctrinal disputes that split the movement early on, have led to an enormous variety of Pentecostal denominations and institutions, not to mention huge congregations led by a single charismatic pastor or storefront churches that rarely register on the media’s radar.
  • American Religion Data Archive

    The American Religion Data Archive lists Pentecostal denominations (scroll down to U.S. Denominations). Some scholars have named more than 300.

Other revivals

While Pentecostalism has grown and adapted to the modern world, its roots remain in grassroots revivalism. Two large revivals are the most recent and popular manifestations of the Azusa Street tradition, though both have been met with criticism:

  • The Toronto Blessing began with a sermon in January 1994 at the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church that led congregants to laugh and jump and dance as if seized by the Holy Spirit. The phenomena continued and the Toronto Blessing went on to draw thousands of worshippers from across North America and the world before winding down after a few years.
  • The Brownsville Revival, or Pensacola Outpouring, began in Pensacola, Fla., on Father’s Day 1995, with an outbreak of enthusiastic worship. The revival soon started holding services almost every night of the week, drawing hundreds of thousands of worshippers before trailing off to a current schedule of one night a week.

International sources

  • Allan H. Anderson

    Allan H. Anderson is professor of  global Pentecostal studies at the Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

  • Zainal Abidin Bagir

    Zainal Abidin Bagir directs the Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies at Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia. He researches religious life in Indonesia, the philosophy of religion and religion and science. He has written on Islam and the environment.

  • Graham K. Brown

    Graham K. Brown is a professor of international development at the University of Western Australia. He conducted a research project, “Theological Resources, Ethnic Boundaries and Civil Society: A Case Study of Charismatic Churches in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia,” through a grant from the University of Southern California’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative.

    Contact: +61 8 6844 4860.
  • Richard Burgess

    Richard Burgess is a lecturer in ministerial theology at the University of Roehampton in London. He is conducting a research project, “Pentecostal Spiritualities, Inter-Religious Relations and Civic Engagement: A Comparative Study of Nigeria and Zambia,” through a grant from the University of Southern California’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative. He can speak about Pentecostalism in Africa.

  • Rose Engcoy

    Rose Engcoy teaches church history at Asia Pacific Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with the Assemblies of God national churches of Asia, Pacific Oceania, and the Assemblies of God World Missions-USA and located in Baguio City, Philippines. She does oral history research on the beginnings of Pentecostal groups, especially in the Philippines. She is fluent in Tagalog and English.

  • Paul Gracza

    Paul Gracza is a rector and a professor at the Pentecostal Theological College  in Budapest, Hungary. He is an expert on Pentecostalism in Europe and speaks fluent English.

    Contact:, 06-1290-9517, 06-1297-0413.
  • William K. Kay

    William K. Kay is a professor of theology at Glyndwr University in the United Kingdom and chair of the European Pentecostal Theological Association. He is conducting a research project, “Asian Pentecostal-style Church Growth: An International Comparative Project,” through a grant from the University of Southern California’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative. He studies Pentecostalism in Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.

  • David Wells

    The Rev. David Wells is general superintendent of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, a fellowship of 1,100 congregations that is based in Mississauga, Ontario. He can discuss Pentecostalism in Canada.


  • Center for the Study of Latin American Pentecostalism

    The Center for the Study of Latin American Pentecostalism is based in Brazil and works to promote and support scholarly research on Pentecostalism in Latin America. It is a project of the University of Southern California’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative. Contact Paul Freston. He is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

  • Nigeria Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Centre

    The Nigeria Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Centre works to promote and support scholarly research on Pentecostalism in Africa. It is based at the University of Jos in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. It is a project of the University of Southern California’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative. Contact Danny McCain, co-principal investigator, at the International Institute for Christian Studies, based in Overland Park, Kan.

National sources

  • Cecil M. “Mel” Robeck Jr.

    Cecil M. “Mel” Robeck Jr. is a professor of church history and ecumenics and director of the David J. DuPlessis Center for Christian Spirituality at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. Robeck is a leading scholar and commentator on Pentecostalism and author of The Azusa Street Mission and Revival, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006).

  • Timothy Samuel Shah

    Timothy Samuel Shah is associate director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs and is visiting assistant professor in the government department at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In 2005 Shah taught a course on Pentecostalism and globalization for the annual summer school program at Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs. The course focused on Pentecostalism in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa and its influence on global politics.

  • David Daniels

    David Daniels, a professor at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, is an expert in African Pentecostalism.

  • J. Lee Grady

    J. Lee Grady is contributing editor for Charisma Magazine, one of the leading periodicals of the Pentecostal community, and part of the Charisma Media group that produces magazines, books, other literature and ministry aids for Pentecostals. A veteran journalist, Grady is a knowledgeable and well-respected commentator on the Pentecostal scene.

  • Billy Wilson

    The Rev. Billy Wilson runs World Impact, an evangelism television ministry based in Cleveland, Tenn.

  • Edith L. Blumhofer

    Edith L. Blumhofer is director of the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill. She has written extensively on Pentecostalism.

  • Wesley Granberg-Michaelson

    Wesley Granberg-Michaelson is general secretary of the Reformed Church in America, with headquarters in Grand Rapids, Mich. In October 2005 he gave an address in New York City on the promise of Pentecostal Christianity and the need for mainline churches like his own to forge bonds with this burgeoning, global movement.

  • Grant Wacker

    Grant Wacker is professor emeritus of Christian history at Duke University Divinity School in Durham, N.C. He specializes in the history of evangelicalism, Pentecostalism and world missions and is the author of Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture.

  • Jeff Farmer

    Jeff Farmer of Puyallup, Wash., heads the executive board of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America. It is an umbrella organization that grew out of the so-called “Memphis Miracle” of October 1994, in which a number of leading black and white Pentecostal leaders and communities reconciled after decades of racial division.

  • Vinson Synan

    Vinson Synan is Dean Emeritus of the School of Divinity at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va. He is an expert on the Pentecostal movement and its history.

  • Assemblies of God USA

    Assemblies of God is a national and international organization that makes up the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination of some 66 million members and adherents worldwide, and over 3 million members in the U.S. The organization works to promote religion itself and aspects of practice to its members. The church’s four-fold mission is expressed through evangelism, discipleship, worship and compassion.

  • Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative

    The Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative is a project of the Center for Religion & Civic Culture at the University of Southern California. The initiative awards grants to research centers and individuals to study Pentecostalism and its various renewal movements in four major geographic regions: Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the former Soviet Union. Brie Loskota is program officer and primary contact.

Regional sources

In the Northeast

  • Harvey Cox

    Harvey Cox is the Hollis Professor of Divinity Emeritus at Harvard Divinity School and a renowned author and commentator on religious issues. He has written many books on the future of religion and theology, including The Future of Faith and The Secular City: Secularization and Urbanization in Theological Perspective.

    He is also a leading commentator on religious trends, in particular on Pentecostals, which he examined in his book Fire From Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion in the 21st Century (1995, Addison-Wesley Publishers).

  • Todd M. Johnson

    Todd M. Johnson is director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass. The rise of Pentecostalism has been a major focus of the program. He is also an expert on international religious demography and he edits the World Christian Database and is co-editor of the World Religion Database.

  • Cheryl J. Sanders

    Cheryl J. Sanders is professor of Christian ethics at Howard University School of Divinity and senior pastor of the Third Street Church of God in Washington, D.C. She has written extensively on race and culture and on the holiness-Pentecostal experience in African-American religion and culture. She can discuss the tradition of community work among black churches.

  • Philip Jenkins

    Philip Jenkins is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Humanities at Pennsylvania State University. He also is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion and serves as co-director for the institute’s Initiative on Historical Studies of Religion. He is the author of Climate, Catastrophe and Faith: How Changes in Climate Drive Religious Upheaval and The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, which includes extensive discussion of the global impact of Pentecostalism.

  • Anthea Butler

    Anthea Butler is an associate professor of religious studies and Africana studies and graduate chair of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She specializes in the history of Pentecostalism and is the author of White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America.

  • Febe Armanios

    Febe Armanios is an associate professor of history at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt. She is conducting a research project, “Coptic Charismatic Renewal in Egypt: A Modern History,” through a grant from the University of Southern California’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative. She specializes in Coptic Christians in the Middle East.

  • John McCauley

    John McCauley is an assistant professor of comparative politics at the University of Maryland. He is conducting a research project, “Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity and the African Political Landscape,” through a grant from the University of Southern California’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative. He specializes in African politics.

  • Daniel Jordan Smith

    Daniel Jordan Smith is an associate professor of anthropology and chair of the anthropology department at Brown University in Providence, R.I. He is conducting a research project, “Pentecostalism and AIDS in Nigeria,” through a grant from the University of Southern California’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative.

  • Timothy Wadkins

    Timothy Wadkins is a professor specializing in the history of Christianity and director of the Institute for the Global Study of Religion at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. He is conducting a research project, “The Preferential Option for the Spirit: Pentecostalism and Culture in Modern El Salvador,” through a grant from the University of Southern California’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative.

In the South

  • Robert W. Graves

    Robert W. Graves is president of the Atlanta-based Foundation for Pentecostal Scholarship, which was started to foster a growing theological and intellectual development in Pentecostalism.

  • Estrelda Alexander

    Estrelda Alexander is president of William Seymour College in Bowie, Md., and author of The Women of Azusa Street (The Pilgrim Press, 2005), which explores the major role of women in the birth and success of Pentecostalism, especially among African-Americans.

  • David Yamane

    David Yamane is a professor of sociology at Wake Forest University and expert on American Catholicism. He is the author of The Catholic Church in State Politics: Negotiating Prophetic Demands and Political Realities. Over the last few years, Yamane has shifted his attention to gun culture and studies the rise of armed citizens.

  • Laurence W. Wood

    Laurence W. Wood is a professor of systematic theology at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky. He wrote the article “Third Wave of the Spirit, Pentecostalization of American Christianity: A Wesleyan Critique” in the 1996 Wesleyan Theological Journal.

    Contact: 859-858-3581.
  • M. Jane Harris

    M. Jane Harris is a professor of religion at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark. She has written on the role of Pentecostalism in political life in the South.

  • T.D. Jakes

    T.D. Jakes is the leader of the Potter’s House, a 30,000 member Pentecostal church in Dallas. He is a nationally known pastor and author.

    Contact: 1-800-BISHOP2.
  • R. Andrew Chesnut

    R. Andrew Chesnut is a professor of religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has written about the growing presence of Pentecostalism in Latin America and the growing popularity of Santa Muerte spirituality.

  • Rosalind I.J. Hackett

    Rosalind I.J. Hackett is a religious studies professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has written about gender and religion in Africa, radical Christian revivalism in Nigeria and Ghana and the gospel of prosperity in West Africa.

In the Midwest

  • Dr. Margaret Poloma

    Dr. Margaret Poloma is Professor Emeritus in Sociology at the University of Akron in Ohio. She wrote about miracles as supernatural/ paranormal phenomenon in Main Street Mystics: The Toronto Blessing and Reviving Pentecostalism (Alta Mira Press, 2003). She describes herself as a Pentecostal Christian who has experienced paranormal phenomena within the framework of her religion.

  • Corwin E. Smidt

    Corwin E. Smidt is a research fellow at the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics and a professor of political science at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. He is author, editor or co-author of books on religion and public life, including In God We Trust? Religion and American Political Life; Pulpit and Politics: Clergy in American Politics at the Advent of the Millennium; and The Bully Pulpit: The Politics of Protestant Clergy.

  • Carmelo Alvarez

    Carmelo Alvarez is a former affiliate professor of church history and theology at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis and has written about Pentecostals.

  • R. Marie Griffith

    R. Marie Griffith is director of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. She has written on women in charismatic and Pentecostal movements.

  • Chad Bauman

    Chad Bauman is an associate professor of religion at Butler University in Indianapolis. He is conducting a research project, “Pentecostals, Charismatics, Conversion and Hindu-Christian Conflict in Contemporary India,” through a grant from the University of Southern California’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative.

  • Robert Dowd

    The Rev. Robert Dowd is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Ind. He is conducting a research project, “The Roman Catholic Charismatic Movements in Sub-Saharan Africa: Its Causes and Consequences,” through a grant from the University of Southern California’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative.

  • Henri Gooren

    Henri Gooren is an associate professor of anthropology at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. He is conducting a research project, “The Pentecostalization of Religion and Society in Paraguay and Chile,” through a grant from the University of Southern California’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative.

  • Chong Xiang

    Chong Xiang is a professor of economics at Purdue University in Lafayette, Ind. He is conducting a research project, “The Global Marketplace for Christianity,” through a grant from the University of Southern California’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative.

In the West

  • Arlene Sánchez-Walsh

    Arlene Sánchez-Walsh is a religious studies professor at Azusa Pacific University in Azuza, California. She is an authority on Latino evangelicals, and her current research is on the rise of nonbelief among Latinos and Latinas. Her books include Latino Pentecostal Identity: Evangelical Faith, Self and Society.


  • Thomas J. Csordas

    Thomas J. Csordas is a professor of anthropology at the University of California, San Diego. Csordas studies comparative religion and cultural phenomenology.

  • Gordon Hanson

    Gordon Hanson is a professor of economics and holds the Pacific Economic Cooperation Chair in International Economic Relations at the University of California at San Diego. He is conducting a research project, “The Global Marketplace for Christianity,” through a grant from the University of Southern California’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative.

  • Andrew Johnson

    Andrew Johnson is a research associate with the University of Southern California’s Religious Competition and Creative Innovation initiative. He is conducting a research project, “Religion Behind Bars: Pentecostalism in Brazilian Prisons and the Social Consequences of Religious Prisoners,” through a grant from USC’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative. He has conducted research on Pentecostalism inside of prisons in Rio de Janeiro.

  • Karrie Koesel

    Karrie Koesel is an associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame. She specializes in Russian and Chinese politics and the intersection between politics and religion.

  • Donald E. Miller

    Donald E. Miller is a professor of religion and sociology at the University of Southern California and executive director of the school’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture. His books include Reinventing American Protestantism: Christianity in the New Millennium, for which he looked at “new paradigm” churches, in particular three megachurches that began in Southern California.

    He is involved with USC’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative.

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