Student Research Projects

Classless Methodists

Student Nicolas Snyder ‘17
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Religious Studies
Course Religious Studies 326 : Methodism


The Methodist movement spread quickly during the early years of Methodism. The success of the movement could be accredited to a number of things, such as the circuit riders consistently checking on churches and the enthusiasm that the domination offered. However, the class meeting was the number one reason for the success of the Methodist movement. The class meeting was a way for parishioners to grow their souls. Through reading journals and reports from early Methodist leaders, one can see how the class meeting functioned and spread. The class meeting was more than just a Bible study or Sunday school; in the meetings attendees were asked, “How is your soul doing,” and they would deeply consider their spiritual growth. Another reason for the success of the class meetings was that they were mandatory, meaning that one could not avoid spiritual growth. With the spiritual growth that all parishioners went through, they naturally desired stronger church activity. Because of this, the Methodist movement spread and continued to have a strong presence in today’s society.