3 Christian radio

Christian radio

Christian radio is a category of radio formats that focus on transmitting programming with a Christian message. In the United States, where it is more established, many such broadcasters play popular music of Christian influence, though many programs have talk or news programming covering associated topics that can have an economic or a political angle to them.


Business models of Christian radio

Some Christian radio stations are commercial in nature. Other Christian radio stations are listener-supported.

Radio formats

Christian music

Christian music radio outlets mirror commercial radio in many ways, and music in a variety of different genres is available. Many stations play primarily gospel music (whether Black Gospel or Southern Gospel) or worship music, while others play all formats of contemporary Christian music including rock and roll, pop, rap, country, and alternative. Many artists within the Christian music industry criticize Christian radio for only playing "safe" music, and not taking enough chances on new artists, or in some cases older artists, that may not be as appealing to the largely conservative Gospel Music Association.

Popular artists on Christian radio stations with this format include Third Day, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Mercy Me, Steven Curtis Chapman, Carman, Sandi Patty, Relient K, Switchfoot, and the Bill Gaither Trio. Note that this short list runs the gamut of Christian music formats from pop to rock to inspirational. Popular artists played on Black Gospel stations include Yolanda Adams (who also hosts a nationally syndicated morning show aired on several stations with such a format), Kirk Franklin, The Clark Sisters, Kierra Sheard, Dottie Peoples, Melvin Williams, Trin-i-tee 5:7 and Shirley Caesar.

Many secular radio stations devote some of their weekend programming to Christian music; for example, Black Gospel programming is common on Sundays on many stations featuring the Urban Contemporary format.

Christian talk radio, preaching, and radio drama

Other Christian stations will present a no-music format that features talk radio-style programming (sometimes including live radio call-in shows) and/or long-form "preaching and teaching" programs. Notable examples include Focus on the Family with host Dr. James Dobson and Living Way with Pastor Jack Hayford; an example of an inspirational program is Moments of Melody. Radio drama programs, long dead in most other radio formats, continue to live on Christian radio; notable examples include long running Adventures in Odyssey and Unshackled! as well as relative newcomers such as Down Gilead Lane and A Work in Progress. Still other Christian stations will feature a combination of music and long-form programs.

Many Christian radio stations have a mission to encourage their listeners in their faith through encouraging music and teaching, and through supporting ministry events within their listening area.

American and International availability

Most Christian radio stations as well as programmers based in the United States are members of the National Religious Broadcasters organization; there are reportedly 1,600 different Christian broadcasting organizations in the U.S. They range from single stations to expansive networks. It is a common practice for religious broadcasters to purchase many small broadcast translators to create networks that stretch across large regions. Moody Radio was the first example, and still one of the largest, though most of its stations broadcast stand-alone programming as well as network feeds. The WAY-FM Network, K-LOVE, Air 1, and Bible Broadcasting Network are other notable examples.

Christian radio has expanded recently and is also now available in other places such as the United Kingdom. Premier Christian Radio is based in the London area where it is available on medium wave and DAB; elsewhere, it is available digitally or by Internet. United Christian Broadcasters is an international broadcasting and media company; radio stations are based in Albania, Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Christian radio programs

See also


  • Lochte, Bob (2005). Christian Radio: The Growth of a Mainstream Broadcasting Force. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company. ISBN 0-7864-2239-4. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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