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Technology and Internet Use in U.S. Congregations

Although 69 percent of U.S. congregations have websites and 40 percent have a Facebook page, employing online technology does not automatically lead to growth, according to Scott Thumma, professor of sociology of religion and director of distance education at Hartford Seminary. Effective and intentional use of Internet technologies allows congregations to do more with fewer resources, and as use of technology rises, per capita giving increases regardless of the congregation’s size. But deployment of online tools is more likely to take place in larger, wealthier faith communities. To explore these and other findings about religion and the Internet, read the study, “Virtually Religious,” written by Thumma from findings of the 2010 Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership, a survey of more than 11,000 U.S. faith communities across the religious spectrum. The report is housed on the partnership website Faith Communities Today.

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