My independent thesis is an examination of contemporary Christian intentional communities in the United States. Throughout this project, I attempted to form criteria for what a normative intentional community would be and how it would function. I explored leadership styles, decision making procedures, outreach programs, and spiritual life among other factors in such communities. I also provided a context for my paper by explaining how intentional communities exist in contrast to the prevailing value of individualism in American society. By examining a short history of intentional communities, I was able to find some basic uniting principles that have been proven to work in such communities. Once I had a firm grasp on the dynamics of a normative community, I applied this model to three communities that I visited. This application gave me a chance to test my model and see how the communities measured up against it. Throughout the course of this project, it has been my conviction that one of the reasons that intentional communities are so vital to our society is that they represent a vein of revolutionary thinking in terms of religion and society. In the realm of theology, life in intentional communities represents a revolutionary shift towards attempting to radically follow the calls of the prophets and the teachings of Jesus. In the realm of society, intentional communities represent a revolutionary preference for communal life in a world that worships individuality and pursuit of personal gain.


Kammer, III, Charles L.


Religious Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

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© Copyright 2000 Emily E. Welty