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Books on Rural America and Rural Ministry

While the books are listed because of their contribution to the study of rural and small town research, their inclusion does not necessary constitute a full endorsement of their content.  

Andrews, David. Ministry in the Small Church. Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward, 1988.

Beale, Calvin L., and Peter A. Morrison. A Taste of the Country: A Collection of Calvin Beales Writings. University Park: Pennsylvania State Univ. Pr., 1990.

Beals, Art, and Larry Libby. Beyond hunger. Portland: Multnomah Press, 1987.

Belknap, Helen Olive. The Church on the Changing Frontier: A Study of the Homesteader and His Church. New York: G.H. Doran, 1922.

Bell, James, Jill Hopkinson, and Trevor Willmott. Reshaping Rural Ministry: A Theological and Practical Handbook. Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2009.

Benton, John. The Big Picture for Small Churches, and Large Ones, Too:. Darlington, England: Evangelical Press, 2005.

Benton, John. Why Join a Small Church?Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2008.

Bickers, Dennis W. The Tentmaking Pastor: The Joy of Bivocational Ministry. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000.

Bickers, Dennis W. The Healthy Small Church: Diagnosis and Treatment for the Big Issues. Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2005.

Bierly, Steve R. Help for the Small-Church Pastor Unlocking the Potential of Your Congregation. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 1995.

Bierly, Steve R. How to Thrive as a Small-Church Pastor: A Guide to Spiritual and Emotional Well-Being. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998.

Brown, Carolyn C. Developing Christian Education in the Smaller Church. Nashville: Abingdon, 1982.

Brown, David L., and Louis E. Swanson. Challenges for Rural America in the Twenty-first Century. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003.

Brown, David Louis, and Kai A. Schafft. Rural People and Communities in the 21st Century: Resilience and Transformation. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2011.

Brown, Miriam. Sustaining Heart in the Heartland: Exploring Rural Spirituality. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2005.

Bunce, Michael F. The Pressures of Change in Rural Canada. Downsview, Ontario: York Univ., Atkinson College, 1984.

Burt, Steven E., and Douglas Alan Walrath. Activating Leadership in the Small Church: Clergy and Laity Working Together. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1988.

Burt, Steven E., and Hazel A. Roper. Raising Small Church Csteem. N.Y.: Alban Institute, 1995.

Burt, Steven E., and Hazel Ann. Roper. The Little Church that Could: Raising Small Church Esteem. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 2000.

Bush, Peter, and H. Christine. OReilly. Where 20 or 30 are gathered: leading worship in the small church. Herndon, VA: Alban Institute, 2006.

Byassee, Jason. The Gifts of the Small Church. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2010.

Byers, David M., and Bernard Quinn. New Directions for the Rural Church: Case Studies in Area Ministry. New York: Paulist Press, 1978.

Callahan, Kennon L. Small, Strong Congregations: Creating Strengths and Health for Your Congregation. Place of publication not identified: Jossey-Bass, 2012.

Canada, David. Spiritual Leadership in the Small Membership Church: Ministry in the Small Membership Church. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2005.

Carr, Patrick J., and Maria Kefalas. Hollowing out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What it Means for America. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2011.

Castle, Emery N. The Changing American Countryside: Rural People and Places. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1995.

Chang, Patricia M. Y. Assessing the Clergy Supply in the 21st Century. Durham, NC: Duke Divinity School, 2004.

City and Rural Kids Count Data Book. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2004.

Clark, Carl A. Rural Churches in Transition. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1959.

Cogswell, James A. The Church and the Rural Poor. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1975.

Collinson, C. Peter. All Churches Great and Small: The Church Scene in the United Kingdom. Carlisle: OM, 1998.

Conkin, Paul Keith. A Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American Agriculture Since 1929. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2009.

Convery, Ian, Gerard Corsane, and Peter Davis. Making Sense of Place: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2014.

Coote, Robert B. Mustard-Seed Churches: Ministries in Small Churches. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990.

Crandall, Ronald K., and L. Ray Sells. There's New Life in the Small Congregation. Nashville, TN: Discipleship Resources, 1983.

Crandall, Ronn. Turn Around Strategies for the Small Church. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1995.

Critchfield, Richard. Trees, Why do You Wait?: Americas Changing Rural Culture. Washington (D.C.): Island, 1991.

Cushman, James E. Beyond Survival: Revitalizing the Small Church. Parsons, W. Va.: McClain Print. Co., 1981.

Dale, Tony, Felicity Dale, and George Barna. Small Is Big! Unleashing the Big Impact of Intentionally Small Churches. Carol Stream, IL: Barna Books/Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2011.

Daman, Glenn.  The Forgotten Church: Why Rural Ministry Matters for Every Church in America. Chicago, ILL: Moody Press, 2018

Daman, Glenn. Leading the Small Church: How to Develop a Transformational Ministry. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2006.

Daman, Glenn. Shepherding the Small Church: A Leadership Guide for the Majority of Today’s Churches. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic & Professional, 2008.

Daman, Glenn. Developing Leaders for the Small Church: A Guide to Spiritual Transformation for the Church Board. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2009.

Daman, Glenn. When Shepherds Weep: Finding Tears of Joy for Wounded Pastors. Wooster, OH: Weaver Book Company, 2015.

Danbom, David B. Born in the Country: A History of Rural America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017.

Davidson, Osha Gray. Broken Heartland: The Rise of Americas Rural Ghetto. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1996.

Diaz, Harry P. Farm Communities at the Crossroads: Challenge and Resistance. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center, 2003.

Dorsett, Terry W. Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation Through the Small Church. Bloomington, IN: CrossBooks, 2012.

Dudley, Carl S., and Douglas Alan Walrath. Developing Your Small Church’s Potential. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1989.

Dudley, Carl S. Making the Small Church Effective. Nashville, TN.: Abingdon Press, 1993.

Duncan, Cynthia M. Worlds Apart: Why Poverty Persists in Rural America. London: Yale University Press, 1999.

Earp, Edwin L. Rural Church: Serving the Community (Classic Reprint). S.l.: FORGOTTEN BOOKS, 2015.

Earp, Edwin Lee. Rural Church Movement. New York, NY: Hardpress Ltd, 2013.

Economic Restructuring and Family Well-being in Rural America. University Park: Penn State Univ Press, 2014.

Elder, Glen H., Rand Conger, and Valarie King. Children of the Land: Adversity and Success in Rural America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014.

Emerson, Michael O., and Christian Smith. Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2001.

Farnsworth, Kirk E., and Rosie Farnsworth. All Churches Great and Small: 60 Ideas for Improving Your Church’s Ministry. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 2005.

Farris, Lawrence W. Dynamics of Small Town Ministry. Bethesda, MD: Alban Institute, 2000.

Felkner, Myrtle, and John P. Gilbert. From Faith to Faith: Growing Through Christian Education. Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2001.

Finke, Roger, and Rodney Stark. The Churching of America: 1776 - 1990; Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press, 1997.

Flora, Cornelia Butler, Jan L. Flora, and Stephen P. Gasteyer. Rural Communities: Legacy and Change. 5thedition Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2016.

Flora, Jan L., Cornelia Butler Flora, and Elizabeth Houdek. Rural Communities. Legacy and Change. Boulder: Westview Press, 1992.

Foltz, Nancy T. Caring for the Small Church: Insights From Women in Ministry. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1994.

Foster, Virgil E. How a Small Church can have Good Christian Education. New York: Harper, 1956.

Francis, Leslie J. Rural Life and Rural Church: Theological and Empirical Perspectives. Routledge, 2014.

Funk, Abe. Hope for the Small Church. Belleville, Ont.: Essence Pub., 2005.

George W. Garner, Rural Church Planting: A Missional Footprint. Alpharetta, Georgia: North American Mission Board, 2011.

Gillespie, J. T. Reaching Rural Churches. Atlanta, GA: Home Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention, 1959.

Gilley, Gary E. This Little Church Stayed Home: A Faithful Church in Deceptive Times. Darlington, England: Evangelical Press, 2006.

Goreham, Gary. The Rural Church in America: A Century of Writings: A Bibliography. New York: Garland Pub., 1990.

Goreham, Gary A. Encyclopedia of Rural America: The Land and People. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 1997.

Goreham, Gary. Encyclopedia of Rural America: The Land and People. 2ndEdition Millerton, NY: Grey House Pub., 2008.

Green, Lynn, and Chris Forster. Small Church, Big Vision: How Your Church can Change the World. London: Marshall Pickering, 1995.

Griggs, Donald L., and Judy McKay. Walther. Christian Education in the Small Church. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1988.

Griggs, Donnie. Small Town Jesus: Taking the Gospel Mission Seriously in Seemingly Unimportant Places. Damascus, MD: EverTruth, 2016.

Gunther, Peter F. The Fields at Home: Studies in Home Missions. Chicago: Moody Press, 1967.

Hagenstein, Edwin C., Sara M. Gregg, and Brian Donahue. American Georgics: Writings on Farming, Society and Culture, and the Land. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012.

Hahn, Steven, and Jonathan Prude. The Countryside in the Age of Capitalist Transformation: Essays in the Social History of Rural America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1987.

Hassinger, Edward Wesley., John S. Holik, and J. Kenneth. Benson. The Rural Church: Learning from Three Decades of Change. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1988.

Hazelton, Paul N. 7 Steps to Revitalizing the Small-Town Church. Kansas City, MO: Nazarene Pub. House, 1993.

Hewitt, Arthur Wentworth. Highland Shepherds: A Book of the Rural Pastorate. Chicago: Willett, Clark, 1939.

Hoeft, Jeanne M., L. Shannon Jung, and Joretta L. Marshall. Practicing Care in Rural Congregations and Communities. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2013.

Holck, Manfred. Accounting Methods for the Small Church. Austin, TX: Church Management, Inc., 1989.

Hood, Baxter. A Little Book for Small Churches that Want to Grow. Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1991.

Hunter, Kent R. The Lords Harvest and the Rural Church: A New Look at Ministry in the Agri-culture. Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1993.

Hurt, R. Douglas. American Agriculture: A Brief History. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2002.

Judy, Marvin T., and Murlene O. Judy. From Ivy Tower to Village Spire.Dallas, TX: Southern Methodist University Printing, 1984.

Jung, L. Shannon, and Mary A. Agria. Rural Congregational Studies: A Guide for Good Shepherds. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997.

Jung, L. Shannon. Rural Ministry: The Shape of the Renewal to Come. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1998.

Kalinowski, Caesar. Small is Big, Slow is Fast: Living and Leading Your Family and Community on God’s Mission. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014.

Kemp, Bill. Holy Places, Small Spaces: A Hopeful Future for the Small Membership Church. Nashville, TN: Discipleship Resources, 2005.

Killen, James L. Pastoral Care in the Small Membership Church. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2005.

Klassen, Ron, and John Koessler. No Little Places: The Untapped Potential of the Small-Town-Church. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2002.

Kloppmann, Karl W. A Men’s Ministry for the Small Church. Maitland, FL: Xulon Press, 2001.

London, Lisa, and Vickey Boatright. Church Accounting: The How-to Guide for Small and Growing Churches. Sanford, NC: Deep River Press, 2014.

Longenecker, Harold. Building Town and Country Churches:. Chicago, IL: Moody, 1973.

Lyson, Thomas A., and William W. Falk. Forgotten Places: Uneven Development in Rural America. Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas, 1993.

Maner, Robert E. Making the Small Church Grow. Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1982.

Martin, Simon, Caroline Hewlett, Rona Orme, Becky Payne, and Jill Hopkinson. Resourcing Rural Ministry: Practical Insights for Mission. Abingdon, United Kingdom: The Bible Reading Fellowship, 2015.

Mavis, Walter Curry. Advancing the Smaller Local Church. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1957.

McCarty, Doran. Leading the Small Church. Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1991.

McIntosh, Gary. One Size Doesn’t Fit All. Grand Rapids, Mich: F.H. Revell, 1999.

McIntyre, Ralph L. Big Ideas for Small Sunday Schools. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1976.

McMullen, Shawn A. Unleashing the Potential of the Smaller Church. Cincinnati, OH: Standard Pub., 2006.

McMullen, Shawn A. Releasing the Power of the Smaller Church. Cincinnati, OH: Standard Pub., 2007.

Mondy, Robert William. Pioneers and Preachers: Stories of the Old Frontier. Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1980.

Moore, Eric W. Pastoring the Small Church: Remaining Faithful in a Big Church World. Eugene, Or.: Resource Publications, 2013.

Moore, W. Scott. Rural Revival: Growing Churches in Shrinking Communities. Rogersville, AL.: Eleos Press, 2012.

Moore, W.  Scott. Not from Around Here, are You? Five Common Challenges to Growing the Rural Church. Rogersville, AL: Eleos Press, 2016.

Morrow, Aaron. Small Town Mission: A Guide for Mission-Driven Communities. Austin, TX: GCD Books, 2016.

Morse, H. N. Country Church in Industrial Zone. London: Forgotten Books, 2016.

Morse, H. N. The Social Survey in Town and Country Areas. New York: George H. Doran company, 1924.

Nebel, Thomas P. Big Dreams in Small Places: Church Planting in Smaller Communities. St. Charles, IL.: Church Smart Resources, 2002.

Nurse, Andrew, and Raymond Benjamin. Blake. The Trajectories of Rural Life: New Perspectives on Rural Canada. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center, 2003.

OBrien, Brandon J. The Strategically Small Church: intimate, nimble, authentic, effective. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany Housel, 2010.

ODell, Shannon. Transforming Church in Rural America. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Press, 2010.

Orme, Rona. Rural children, Rural Church: Mission Opportunities in the Countryside. London: Church House Publishing, 2007.

Pappas, Anthony, and Douglas Alan Walrath. Money, Motivation, and Mission in the Small Church. Valley Forge (PA): Judson Press, 1989.

Pappas, Anthony, and Scott Planting. Mission: The Small Church Reaches Out. Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1993.

Pappas, Anthony. Entering the World of the Small Church. Bethesda, MD: Alban Institute, 2002.

Pappas, Anthony. Inside the Small Church. Bethesda, MD: Alban Institute, 2002.

Parks, Lewis. Preaching in the Small Membership Church. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2009.

Patton, Jeff. If it Could Happen Here---: Turning the Small-Membership Church Around. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002.

Peckham, Colin N. Heritage of Revival: A Century of Rural Evangelism. Edinburgh: Faith Mission, 1986.

Philpott, Kent. For Pastors of Small Churches. Mill Valley, Cal.: Earthen Vessel Pub., 2000.

Putnam, Robert D. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2007.

Quinn, Bernard. The Small Rural Parish. New York: Parish Project, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1980.

Ramirez-Ferrero, Eric. Troubled Fields: Men, Emotions, and the Crisis in American Farming. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2005.

Ray, David R. Small Churches are the Right Size. New York: The Pilgrim Press, 1981.

Ray, David R. The Big Small Church Book. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 1992.

Ray, David R. Wonderful Worship in Smaller Churches. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2000.

Rich, Mark. Rural Prospect. New York: Friendship Press, 1950.

Rimmer, Harry. Last of the Giants: How Christ Came to the Lumberjacks. Abbotsford: Aneko Press, 2015.

Riney-Kehrberg, Pamela. The Routledge History of Rural America. New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2016.

Risley, Jean F. A Place Where Everybody Matters: Life and Ministry in a Small Church. Eugene, Or.: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2010.

Roth, Brad. God’s Country: Faith, Hope, and the Future of the Rural Church, (Harrisonburg: Herald Press, 2017.

Rowell, John. Magnify Your Vision for the Small Church. Atlanta, GA: Northside Community Church, 1998.

Ruffcorn, Kevin E. Rural Evangelism: Catching the Vision. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1994.

Rural Matters: A focus on Church Planting in Rural America, Rural Matters Institute, Wheaton, 2017.

Schaller, Lyle E. The Small Church is Different!Nashville, TN.: Abingdon Press, 1992.

Schaller, Lyle E. The Small Membership Church: Scenarios for Tomorrow. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994.

Schaller, Lyle E. Small Congregation, Big Potential Ministry in the Small Membership Church. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2003.

Schnucker, Calvin. How to Plan the Rural Church Program. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1954.

Sherman, Jennifer. Those Who Work, Those Who Don’t: Poverty, Morality, and Family in Rural America. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009.

Sims, Rose. New life for Dying Churches: It can Happen Anywhere!The Villages, FL: New Life Church Growth Ministries, 2005.

Smith, David B. Small Does not Mean Struggling. Enumclaw, WA: Winepress Pub., 2011.

Smith, Lee J. Reflections of a Small Town Pastor. Minneapolis, MN: NextStep Resources, 2013.

Smith, Paul Chaat. Everything You Know about Indians is Wrong. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009.

Smith, Rockwell C. Rural Church Administration. Nashville: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1953.

Smith, Rockwell Carter. Rural Ministry and the Changing Community. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1971.

Speidel, Royal. Evangelism in the Small Membership Church. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2007.

Stewart, Edward C., and Milton J. Bennett. American Cultural Patterns: A Cross-cultural Perspective. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press, 2006.

Sturm, Circe. Becoming Indian: The Struggle over Cherokee Identity in the Twenty-first Century. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press, 2011.

Sullivan, Bill M., and Paul M. Bassett. The Smaller Church in a Super Church Era. Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1983.

The Christian Mission in Relation to Rural Problems. Vol. 6. Report of the Jerusalem meeting of the International Missionary Council, March 24th.-April 8th., 1928. London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1928.

The Rural Church and Community Betterment. Middletown, DE: Leopold Classic Library, 2017.

Thiessen, John Caldwell. Pastoring the Smaller Church. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publish, 1968.

Thompson, Richard P. The Tiny Church in a Big Church World. Kansas City, MO: Nazarene Pub. House, 1991.

 Tickamyer, Ann, and Jennifer Sherman and Jennifer Warlick, Rural Poverty in the United States, New York: Columbia University Press, 2017.

Trebilcock, Robin J. The Small Church at Large: Thinking Local in a Global Context. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2003.

Tyson, John H. Administration in the Small Membership Church. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2007.

Vance, J. D. Hillbilly Elegy. New York: Harper Collins, 2017.

Vidich, Arthur Joseph., and Joseph Bensman. Small Town in Mass Society. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1968.

Wallace, Robin Knowles. Worshiping in the Small Membership Church. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2008.

Walrath, Douglas Alan. Making it Work: Effective Administration in the Small Church. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1994.

Weyer, Robert Van de. The Country Church: A Guide for the Renewal of Rural Christianity. London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1991.

Wiebe, H. Andy. Rural Pastor. Publisher: Author, 2015.

Wilkinson, Kenneth P. The Community in Rural America. Middleton, Wisc.: Social Ecology Press, 1999.

Wilkinson, Vernal. The Bible Live: A Basic Guide for Preachers and Teachers in Small Churches. Denver, CO: Outskirts Press, 2011.

Willimon, William H., and Robert Leroy Wilson. Preaching and Worship in the Small Church. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2001.

Wilson, Charles R., and Lynn Davenport. Against all Odds: Ten Stories of Vitality in Small Churches. Frenchtown, NJ: Jethro Publications, 1982.

Wood, Richard E. Survival of Rural America: Small Victories and Bitter Harvests. Lawrence: University Press Of Kansas, 2010.

Woolever, Cynthia, and Deborah Bruce. Beyond the Ordinary: Ten Strengths of U.S. Congregations. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.

Zunkel, Charles Wayne. Growing the Small Church: A Guide for Church Leaders. Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing Co., 1984.