Standard Article

McGavran, Donald Anderson (1897–1990)

  1. Thurber D. Proffitt III

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0874

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Proffitt, T. D. 2011. McGavran, Donald Anderson (1897–1990). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Born of Anglo-American Missionary parents in Victorian British India and educated in the United States, Donald Anderson McGavran was a third-generation missionary with the United Church Missionary Society of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), an American denomination. A disciple of Methodist bishop J. W. Pickett, McGavran is best known for Church Growth theory, the homogeneous unit principle, and the Institute for Church Growth and School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary, California.


  • McGavran, Donald Anderson (1897–1990);
  • third-generation missionary;
  • united church missionary society of the christian church;
  • church growth theory;
  • McGavran's views, in disciples of christ bible, as creed