Our Bodies are Temples: Health Programming in Christian Church Communities


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.

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

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Correspondence to Elizabeth L. Abbey.

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Appendix 1: Christian Congregation Health Survey Questions

Appendix 1: Christian Congregation Health Survey Questions


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Abbey, E.L., Keogh George, S.M. Our Bodies are Temples: Health Programming in Christian Church Communities. J Relig Health 59, 1958–1981 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-019-00905-8

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  • Religion
  • Health
  • Wellness
  • Health-related programs