Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Joseph Baker

Committee Members

Martha Copp, Paul Kamolnick


Using ten sermons from five prominent and politically active evangelical megachurch pastors taken from the 2016 presidential campaign season, this case study utilizes frame analysis to understand the political relevance of modern evangelical sermonizing. An inductive frame analysis allows the concept of a collective action frame to be observed as a process and for patterns to emerge from the source text. Within these sermons, ministers offer self-identifying evangelicals a vocabulary with which to understand and describe their own identity. In this context, the Bible is a powerful cultural symbol that represents an allegiance to traditions that are framed as the bedrock of American exceptionalism. The boundaries that are drawn and vociferously maintained in this sample emphasize exclusion over inclusion, especially in terms of salvation and righteousness, which can emotionally motivate action. In an election year, this sample demonstrates how evangelical identity is mobilized as an electoral force.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.