In recent decades, the exterior design of Protestant churches has undergone radical reformulation under the influence of the church growth architectural design theory known as architectural evangelism. Presupposing that churched and unchurched individuals hold differing place constructs, architectural evangelism seeks to attract unchurched individuals to the church by changing the exterior design from church typologies to secular typologies. In doing so, as the theory proposes, when an unchurched individual is exposed to a typology they are more familiar with, a different place construct formulation occurs—a place construct rooted in conceptions of comfort and the perception of community-based activities. Noting the widespread influence of architectural evangelism, this paper explores the foundational claims of the design theory, namely: 1) Do churched and unchurched individuals have different church place constructs, and 2) Does the exposure to exterior church design elicit certain connotations and perceptions of community activity?
Niermann, M. (2018). Architectural Evangelism: Examination of Place Constructs Held by Churched and Unchurched Individuals. Great Commission Research Journal, 10(1), 114-138. Retrieved from https://digitalarchives.apu.edu/gcrj/vol10/iss1/18