Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 4-26-2023

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Integrated Marketing Communication

First Advisor

Dennis Irwin

Second Advisor

Ike Brunner

Third Advisor

Melissa Cinelli

Relational Format




Given the rise and importance of social media in the last two decades, religious institutions, especially the Roman Catholic Church, have an important place online to fulfill their mission and belief of spreading the Gospel message. Communicating this message on social media and with contemporary marketing practices is an opportunity and a challenge for churches, Catholics, and apostolates alike. In this study, I analyze a variety of Catholic-related Instagram accounts and interview individuals involved in Church management and content creation. This primary research is prefaced with secondary research exploring the status of the Catholic Church in the United States, the body of research on digital Church communications, the history of visual communications within the Church, and social media marketing best practices. Through my research into Church-related social media accounts and the experiences of people working to spread the Gospel, I was able to see the approaches that are creating compelling content.

Through the analyses, I saw there is a disparity between third-party apostolate content and engagement and Catholic archdiocesan content and engagement. The interview results showed that there is a lack of personnel dedicated to media and communications at the parish level which makes it difficult to devote the time and effort necessary to create compelling content. There are striking examples of high engagement rates both on the apostolate and archdiocesan levels which show that some content creators are resonating with their audience

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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