College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Arts in History - Thesis (MA)


Ronald Satta


Assemblies of God, Schism, the New Issue, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Pentecostal and Missionary Union, Word and Witness, Christian Evangel, Pentecostal Evangel


History of Christianity


Since the Protestant Reformation, ordination within Protestant and evangelical movements has been a largely underemphasized field of study. Some historians have overlooked it entirely, while others have failed to grasp its overall significance to Christian belief, practice, and history. Studies on revivalism are prolific, but in-depth analyses of ordination practices within revivalism and specific revivalist denominations have been lacking. This study defends Robert Mapes Anderson’s thesis that cooperation, consolidation, and controversies in the Assemblies of God between 1914 and 1916 were due to the political struggle between two rival leadership groups. By comparing ministerial lists, mapping ministers’ location information, and tracking ministerial affiliations across the Churches of God in Christ and in the Assemblies of God, this study shows that Anderson’s thesis is undeniable. Doctrinal conflicts and power struggles over what were fundamental to ministry and faith, networks of relationships connected by railroads, World War I, and the role that women played in ministry were significant internal and external factors in the licensing and ordination shifts within the Assemblies of God.