The noteworthy changes in American Methodism since 1909 include (1) the steady growth of all its major branches; (2) movements toward the organic union of various units within the Methodist group and with other evangelical churches ; and (3) educational advances resulting in liberalizing tendencies in theology, a higher appreciation of non-Christian religious groups with a consequent new approach to the problem of world evangelisation, the democratisation of Episcopal Methodist Churches and an increasing zeal for social justice, inter-racial understanding and the application of the teachings of Jesus to all human relationships and affairs, in politics and sociology as well as to purely personal conduct and belief.
The year 1925 saw the consummation of the Union of the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches of Canada in the United Church of Canada. The Methodist Church, as the largest of the three denominational units, went into the United Church with 00% of its constituency, which at the time of the merger included 2,475 ministers, 1,946 lay preachers, 414.047 members, 451,636 church-school pupils, with 43.333 officers and teachers. In the United States a plan for the organic reunion of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church South failed (1925) by a narrow margin of the combined votes of lay and ministerial members of the southern church.
The vote in the Methodist Episcopal Church at the same time was overwhelmingly in favour of the union. The vote of the Methodist Episcopal Church South referred the issue for recon sideration at the next session of the respective General Confer ences of the two bodies.
The educational advances to which must be attributed certain tendencies already summarized include the following (I) an in crease, commensurate with the growth in church membership, in the number, enrolment and financial support of secondary schools and colleges; (2) a rapid rise, especially in the United States, from the previous low average educational preparation and professional training of ministers, together with a corresponding advance in the curriculum standards for collegiate and theological institutions; (3) increasing attention to religious education through the church-school with the extension of the programme of religious education to include week-day instruction; (4) the widespread distribution and use of religious-educational literature in text-book and periodical form, the total regular circulation of which exceeds the membership of all Methodist Churches.
Also see Jesse Lee, A Short History of the Methodists in the United States of America, Baltimore (I8io) ; Alexander McCaine, History and Mystery of Methodist Episcopacy, Baltimore (5829) ; Nathan Bangs, A History of the Methodist Episcopal Church from its Origin in 1776 to the General Conference of 1840, 4 vols., New York (1839-42) ; Francis Asbury, Journal, 3 vols., New York (1852) ; Thomas Ware, Sketches of His Own Life and Travels, New York (1839) ; Abel Stevens, History of Methodism, 3 vols., New York (1858) ; id. History of Methodist Episcopal Church, 4 vols., New York (1864) ; id. The Centenary of American Methodism, New York (1866) ; J. B. Wakeley, Lost Chapters Recovered from the Early History of American Method ism, New York (1858) ; Robert Paine, Life and Times of William McKendree, 2 vols., Nashville (1869) ; revised (5874) ; A. H. Redford, History of the Organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, Nashville (1871) ; Lucius C. Matlack, Anti-Slavery Struggle and Tri umph in the Methodist Episcopal Church, New York (1881) ; Holland N. McCyeire, A History of Methodism, Nashville (1884) ; Stephen M. Merrill, A Digest of Methodist Law, New York, revised ed. (1888) ; Joel Martin, The Wesleyan Manual, or History of Wesleyan Method ism, Syracuse, N.Y. (1889) ; Daniel A. Payne, History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (1891) ; John J. Tigert, A Constitutional History of American Episcopal Methodism, Nashville (1894) ; J. M. Buckley, History of Methodism in the United States, New York (1895) ; Daniel Dorchester, Christianity in the United States, New York (1895) ; J. W. Wood, One Hundred Years of the African Meth odist Episcopal Zion Church, New York (1895) ; J. M. Reid, Missions and Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, New York (1895) ; revised by J. T. Gracey; History of Methodism in the United States (1897) ; Edward J. Drinkhouse, History of Methodist Reform, 2 vols., Baltimore (1899) ; Henry B. Bascom, Methodism and Slavery (Nashville) ; Succock and Hutchinson, The Story of Methodism, New York (1925) ; and the Discipline and Journals of the various American Methodist Churches, and the Proceedings of the Centennial Methodist Conference (1884) ; of the First Ecumenical Conference 0880 ; of the second Ecumenical Conference (1891) ; and of the third Ecumenical Conference (19o1) ; fourth Ecumenical Conference 0910 ; and the fifth Ecumenical Conference (1921). (X., F. J. McC.)