Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Jeremy Lipschultz

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Sherer

Third Advisor

Dr. James Thorson


This thesis is a study of the diffusion of the ideological messages of conservative, evangelical and fundamentalist religious broadcasters upon the decisionmakers and the influences upon the social system of the congregations within the Missouri River Valley Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church USA. The study revealed that most of the decision-makers within the Missouri River Valley Presbytery do not listen to or watch religious broadcast programs on a regular basis, however, about one-third of the decision-makers do watch and listen. The study showed the ideological messages of the religious broadcasters do not play a large part in the opinion formation process of the decision-makers with regard to controversial issues and political elections. Contemporary Christian music was the type of programming which appeared to have the greatest influence. Nearly 60 percent of the survey respondents said their congregations included elements of contemporary worship into their regularly scheduled services. The most often mentioned element of contemporary worship was Christian music. About one-third of the respondents indicated that religious broadcasts were an influence upon the formatting of their congregation worship service.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1997 Vern J. Wirka