A Church Growth Study of the Zuni IndiansRalph Bruce Terry
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Sources of data. Most of the data regarding the culture of the Zunis and effective missionary methods has come from library research at Abilene Christian College and the Gallup-McKinley Public Library. The verification of this material and the statistics for the analysis of church growth have come from personal observations, interviews, and correspondence while living at Zuni, and research into the records of the missions in the area.


1. The culture and history of the Zuni people have been studied in Chapter 2 with emphasis not only on the various cultural universals as found in Zuni but also on the nature of culture change in Zuni, and how elements are borrowed and adapted to fit Zuni culture.

2. Information about the history of the Christian missions has been presented in Chapter 3. This includes data arranged into tables about the membership and community of the missions over the years 1539-1971 with special emphasis on 1897-1971.

3. Line and bar graphs have been constructed from this data.

4. In Chapter 4 an analysis has been done of the most crucial periods of growth, decline, and no change. These periods of growth and decline have been evaluated in light of methods being used, missionary personnel changes, the extent to which the native language is used, economic and social changes, the amount of American culture in the message being presented, and other sociological causes for change.

5. In the second part of Chapter 4, the present methods have been evaluated in the light of past periods of growth and decline, areas of cultural borrowing, the Zuni socio-religious structure, and contemporary missions theory.

6. In Chapter 5, suggestions have been made for an effective work among the Zunis by the Churches of Christ. This includes an attempt to predict what form the church might take at Zuni in the light of the Zuni culture.

7. Chapter 6 is a summary of the thesis.

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