Our Bodies are Temples: Health Programming in Christian Church Communities

  • Elizabeth L. AbbeyEmail author
  • Stacy M. Keogh George
Original Paper


This exploratory research considers the ways in which Christian churches provide health and wellness programming to their congregations and the surrounding community. We investigated one community in the Pacific Northwest region of the USA. Here we examined the types of health-related programs promoted by the church community, to whom these programs are directed, and the theological motivations for providing such services. We also analyzed the sociocultural dynamics of each congregation that may lead some churches to promote health and wellness more than others. Findings suggest that many churches focus primarily on providing services to the community at large, rather than promoting healthy living within their own communities.


Religion Health Wellness Health-related programs 



This study was funded by a Weyerhaeuser Center for Christian Faith and Learning Summer Fellowship research grant from Whitworth University.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health SciencesWhitworth UniversitySpokaneUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyWhitworth UniversitySpokaneUSA

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