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Religious groups can be categorized in many different ways. We offer two options: Traditions and Families. Religious Traditions categorize groups based on current religious beliefs and acceptance of the larger culture, but give little attention to denominational lineage. Families organize religious groups based on their common religious ancestry or heritage, regardless of their current religious beliefs or social positions. Beginning with an article by Brian Steensland and colleagues entitled "The Measure of American Religion: Toward Improving the State of the Art" published in Social Forces (2000, 79: 291-318), the staff at the Association of Religion Data Archives (theARDA.com) used several sources to categorize groups into Religious Traditions. For denominations not included in Steensland and colleagues' scheme, two additional sources were consulted: J. Gordon Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions (8th edition) and Frank S. Mead and Samuel S. Hill's Handbook of Denominations in the United States (10th edition). In addition to those in Steensland and colleagues' classification scheme, separate categories were created for Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Orthodox Christians, Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Jehovah's Witnesses, and other groups. The Religious Families were assembled by InfoGroup. For more information on the schisms and mergers within each family and for each of the groups included, please refer to the ARDAs Denominational Profiles and Family Trees

The 233 religious groups and their category placement are as follows:

Denomination Source Reported By InfoGroupReligious FamilyReligious Tradition
Advent Christian ChurchAdventistEvangelical Protestant
Adventists - OtherAdventistEvangelical Protestant
Church of God General ConferenceAdventistEvangelical Protestant
Seventh Day AdventistsAdventistEvangelical Protestant
Seventh Day Church of GodAdventistEvangelical Protestant
American Baptist AssociationBaptistEvangelical Protestant
American Baptist Churches/USABaptistMainline Protestant
Baptist General ConferenceBaptistEvangelical Protestant
Baptist - OtherBaptistEvangelical Protestant
Baptist Bible FellowshipBaptistEvangelical Protestant
Baptist Missionary Association of AmericaBaptistEvangelical Protestant
Cooperative Baptist FellowshipBaptistEvangelical Protestant
Independent Baptist ChurchesBaptistEvangelical Protestant
Conservative Baptist AssociationBaptistEvangelical Protestant
Free Will BaptistsBaptistEvangelical Protestant
General Assoc. of Regular BaptistsBaptistEvangelical Protestant
Assoc. of General BaptistsBaptistEvangelical Protestant
General Association of Separatist BaptistsBaptistEvangelical Protestant
National Baptist Convention of AmericaBaptistHistorically Black Protestant
National Baptist Convention-USABaptistHistorically Black Protestant
North American Baptist ConferenceBaptistEvangelical Protestant
Primitive BaptistsBaptistEvangelical Protestant
Progressive National Baptist ConventionBaptistHistorically Black Protestant
Seventh Day Baptist Gen. ConferenceBaptistEvangelical Protestant
Southern Baptist ConventionBaptistEvangelical Protestant
Southwide Baptist FellowshipBaptistEvangelical Protestant
United BaptistBaptistEvangelical Protestant
World Baptist FellowshipBaptistEvangelical Protestant
African Methodist Episcopal ChurchMethodistHistorically Black Protestant
African Methodist Episcopal ZionMethodistHistorically Black Protestant
African Union Methodist ProtestantMethodistHistorically Black Protestant
Christian Methodist Episcopal ChurchMethodistHistorically Black Protestant
Congregational Methodist ChurchMethodistEvangelical Protestant
Evangelical Congregational ChurchMethodistEvangelical Protestant
Evangelical Methodist ChurchMethodistEvangelical Protestant
Independent Methodist ChurchesMethodistEvangelical Protestant
Methodist - OtherMethodistMainline Protestant
Primitive Methodist ChurchMethodistEvangelical Protestant
Reformed Zion Union ApostolicMethodistHistorically Black Protestant
Southern Methodist ChurchMethodistEvangelical Protestant
United Methodist ChurchMethodistMainline Protestant
American Association of Lutheran ChurchLutheranEvangelical Protestant
Apostolic Lutheran Church of AmericaLutheranEvangelical Protestant
Association of Free Lutheran CongregationsLutheranEvangelical Protestant
Church of Lutheran ConfessionLutheranEvangelical Protestant
Church of the Lutheran BrethrenLutheranEvangelical Protestant
Evangelical Lutheran SynodLutheranEvangelical Protestant
Latvian Evangelical Lutheran ChurchLutheranMainline Protestant
Evangelical Lutheran Church in AmericaLutheranMainline Protestant
Lutheran - OtherLutheranEvangelical Protestant
Lutheran Church - Missouri SynodLutheranEvangelical Protestant
Wisconsin Evangelical LutheranLutheranEvangelical Protestant
Association Reformed Presbyterian ChurchPresbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Bible Presbyterian ChurchPresbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Christian Reformed ChurchPresbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Churches of God (Findlay, OH)Presbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Congregational Christian ChurchesPresbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Conservative Congregation Christian ConferencePresbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Cumberland Presbyterian ChurchPresbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Evangelical Presbyterian ChurchPresbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Free Reformed Churches of North AmericaPresbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Free Presbyterian ChurchPresbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Orthodox Presbyterian ChurchPresbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Presbyterian Church in AmericaPresbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Presbyterian/Reformed - OtherPresbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Presbyterian Church (USA)Presbyterian/ReformedMainline Protestant
Protestant Reformed ChurchesPresbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Reformed Church in AmericaPresbyterian/ReformedMainline Protestant
Reformed Presbyterian Church of North AmericaPresbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Reformed Church in the USAPresbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Cumberland Presbyterian Ch in AmericaPresbyterian/ReformedHistorically Black Protestant
United Church of ChristPresbyterian/ReformedMainline Protestant
United Reformed Churches in North AmericaPresbyterian/ReformedEvangelical Protestant
Maranatha Christian ChurchesPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Apostolic Church of PentecostPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Apostolic Churches - OtherPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Apostolic Faith ChurchPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Apostolic Overcoming Holy ChurchPentecostalHistorically Black Protestant
Assemblies of GodPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Bible Way Church of Lord Jesus ChristPentecostalHistorically Black Protestant
Calvary ChapelPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Christian Church of North AmericaPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Church of God (Cleveland, TN)PentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Church of God of ProphecyPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Church of God - Mountain AssemblyPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Church of God - OtherPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Church of God By FaithPentecostalHistorically Black Protestant
Church of God in ChristPentecostalHistorically Black Protestant
Congregational Holiness Church, Inc.PentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Church of the Living GodPentecostalHistorically Black Protestant
Church of the Lord Jesus ChristPentecostalHistorically Black Protestant
Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of Apostolic FaithPentecostalHistorically Black Protestant
Deliverance ChurchesPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Church On the RockPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Seventh Day PentecostalPentecostalHistorically Black Protestant
Word ChurchesPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Elim FellowshipPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Faith Christian FellowshipPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Fire-Baptized Holiness ChurchPentecostalHistorically Black Protestant
First Church of Jesus ChristPentecostalHistorically Black Protestant
Full Gospel FellowshipPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Hall Deliverance FoundationPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
International Foursquare GospelPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
International Pentecostal Church of ChristPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Association of Vineyard ChurchesPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Liberty Fellowship of ChurchesPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Open Bible Standard ChurchesPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Church of God (Original)PentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Pentecostal Assemblies of the WorldPentecostalHistorically Black Protestant
Pentecostal Church of GodPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Pentecostal Free Will Baptist ChurchPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
International Pentecostal Holiness ChurchPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Pentecostal - OtherPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
United House of PrayerPentecostalHistorically Black Protestant
United Christian ChurchPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
United Pentecostal ChurchPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Victory Churches InternationalPentecostalEvangelical Protestant
Liberal Catholic ChurchesCatholicOther
Polish National Catholic ChurchCatholicOther
Roman Catholic ChurchCatholicRoman Catholic
Convents/Rectories/MonasteriesCatholicRoman Catholic
Brethren - OtherBrethrenEvangelical Protestant
Fellowship of Grace BrethrenBrethrenEvangelical Protestant
Church of the BrethrenBrethrenEvangelical Protestant
Old German Baptist Brethren ChurchBrethrenEvangelical Protestant
United Brethren in ChristBrethrenEvangelical Protestant
Berean Fundamental ChurchesIndependent FundamentalistEvangelical Protestant
Church of the Open DoorIndependent FundamentalistEvangelical Protestant
Independent Bible ChurchesIndependent FundamentalistEvangelical Protestant
Fundamental Bible ChurchesIndependent FundamentalistEvangelical Protestant
Grace Gospel FellowshipIndependent FundamentalistEvangelical Protestant
Independent Fundamental ChurchesIndependent FundamentalistEvangelical Protestant
Plymouth BrethrenIndependent FundamentalistEvangelical Protestant
Anglican - OtherEpiscopalEvangelical Protestant
Anglican Episcopal of North AmericaEpiscopalEvangelical Protestant
Charismatic Episcopal ChurchEpiscopalEvangelical Protestant
Episcopal ChurchEpiscopalMainline Protestant
Anglican Orthodox ChurchEpiscopalEvangelical Protestant
Reformed Episcopal ChurchEpiscopalEvangelical Protestant
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)Christian/Church of ChristMainline Protestant
Christian & Churches of ChristChristian/Church of ChristEvangelical Protestant
Christian - OtherChristian/Church of ChristEvangelical Protestant
Churches of Christ (Non-Instrumental)Christian/Church of ChristEvangelical Protestant
Church of God in Christ, MennoniteMennoniteEvangelical Protestant
Conservative Mennonite FellowshipMennoniteEvangelical Protestant
Amish (Mennonite)MennoniteEvangelical Protestant
Evangelical Mennonite Mission ConferenceMennoniteEvangelical Protestant
Brethren in ChristMennoniteEvangelical Protestant
Mennonite Church USAMennoniteEvangelical Protestant
Mennonite Brethren ChurchMennoniteEvangelical Protestant
Church of Jesus Christ - Latter-day SaintsLatter-day SaintsLatter-day Saint (Mormon)
Community of Christ (RLDS)Latter-day SaintsOther
Allegheny Wesleyan MethodistHolinessEvangelical Protestant
American Rescue WorkersHolinessEvangelical Protestant
Apostolic Christian (Nazarean)HolinessEvangelical Protestant
Bible Methodist ConnectionHolinessEvangelical Protestant
Christian & Missionary AllianceHolinessEvangelical Protestant
Ch. of Christ in Christian UnionHolinessEvangelical Protestant
Church of God (Anderson, IN)HolinessEvangelical Protestant
Churches of God (Independent Holiness)HolinessEvangelical Protestant
Church of God (Holiness)HolinessEvangelical Protestant
Pillar of FireHolinessEvangelical Protestant
Evangelical Christian ChurchHolinessEvangelical Protestant
Evangelical Church of North AmericaHolinessEvangelical Protestant
Free Methodist Church of North AmericaHolinessEvangelical Protestant
Grace and Hope MissionHolinessEvangelical Protestant
Holiness - OtherHolinessEvangelical Protestant
Missionary ChurchHolinessEvangelical Protestant
Mount Calvary Holy Church of AmericaHolinessHistorically Black Protestant
National Association of Holiness ChurchesHolinessEvangelical Protestant
Church of the NazareneHolinessEvangelical Protestant
Rescue MissionHolinessEvangelical Protestant
Salvation ArmyHolinessEvangelical Protestant
Triumph the Church/Kingdom of GodHolinessHistorically Black Protestant
Wesleyan ChurchHolinessEvangelical Protestant
Christian Science ChurchesMetaphysicalOther
Swedenborgian ChurchesMetaphysicalOther
Metaphysical - OtherMetaphysicalOther
National Spiritualist AssociationMetaphysicalOther
Spiritual Science ChurchesMetaphysicalOther
Spiritualist Churches/OrganizationsMetaphysicalOther
United Church of Religious ScienceMetaphysicalOther
Unity School of ChristianityMetaphysicalOther
Church of ScientologyMetaphysicalOther
Albanian Orthodox Diocese of AmericaOrthodoxOrthodox Christian
American Carpatho-Russian OrthodoxOrthodoxOrthodox Christian
Antiochian Orthodox ChristianOrthodoxOrthodox Christian
Armenian Apostolic ChurchOrthodoxOrthodox Christian
Armenian Church of AmericaOrthodoxOrthodox Christian
Byelorussian OrthodoxOrthodoxOrthodox Christian
Greek Orthodox ChurchOrthodoxOrthodox Christian
Eastern Orthodox - OtherOrthodoxOrthodox Christian
Orthodox Church in AmericaOrthodoxOrthodox Christian
Romanian Orthodox EpiscopateOrthodoxOrthodox Christian
Russian Orthodox ChurchOrthodoxOrthodox Christian
Serbian Eastern Orthodox ChurchOrthodoxOrthodox Christian
Ukranian Orthodox ChurchOrthodoxOrthodox Christian
Jewish - OtherJewishJewish
Orthodox Jewish CongregationsJewishJewish
Reconstructionist Jewish CongregationsJewishJewish
Reform Jewish CongregationsJewishJewish
Conservative Jewish CongregationsJewishJewish
ChristadelphiansEvangelical MiscEvangelical Protestant
International Council Community ChurchesEvangelical MiscMainline Protestant
Evangelical Covenant ChurchEvangelical MiscEvangelical Protestant
Evangelical Free ChurchEvangelical MiscEvangelical Protestant
Evangelical - OtherEvangelical MiscEvangelical Protestant
Federated ChurchEvangelical MiscEvangelical Protestant
Friends (Quakers)Evangelical MiscMainline Protestant
Military ChapelsEvangelical MiscOther
Metropolitan Community ChurchesEvangelical MiscMainline Protestant
Moravian Church in AmericaEvangelical MiscMainline Protestant
Neighborhood ChurchesEvangelical MiscOther
Non-Denominational ChurchesEvangelical MiscOther
Union of Messianic Jewish CongregationsEvangelical MiscOther
Schwenkfelder ChurchEvangelical MiscEvangelical Protestant
United/Union ChurchesEvangelical MiscEvangelical Protestant
Worldwide Church of GodEvangelical MiscEvangelical Protestant
Non Classified AffiliationMisc/ClassifiedOther
Baha'i FaithMisc/ClassifiedOther
Buddhist Temples, ZenMisc/ClassifiedBuddhist
EckankarMisc/ClassifiedOther
Hindu TemplesMisc/ClassifiedHindu
Jehovah's WitnessesMisc/ClassifiedJehovah's Witnesses
KrishnaMisc/ClassifiedOther
Miscellaneous Cults and SectsMisc/ClassifiedOther
Muslim/Mohammed/IslamMisc/ClassifiedIslamic
Nichiren Shoshu TempleMisc/ClassifiedOther
Sikh SocietyMisc/ClassifiedOther
Miscellaneous Eastern ReligionsMisc/ClassifiedOther
Tenrikyo ChurchesMisc/ClassifiedOther
Unification ChurchMisc/ClassifiedOther
Unitarian Universalist AssociationMisc/ClassifiedOther
Yoga InstitutesMisc/ClassifiedOther