Christianity Knowledge Base

Christian radio is a radio format that focuses 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[]

Like non-Christian radio stations, many Christian radio stations are commercial in nature, and subsequently, they will select their music in a manner intended to increase profitability of advertisers (thereby increasing the value of the station's advertising--and the station's profits). Other Christian radio stations are non-profit in nature; these stations are typically supported by their listeners, or by Christian organizations/institutions, or both; these stations seek to evangelize their message rather than to package or organize it for commercial gain.

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 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, MercyMe, 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.

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 and Air 1 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.

Notable Christian radio programs[]

  • Adventures in Odyssey, a scripted radio comedy/drama for children produced by Focus on the Family
  • Back to the Bible with Woodrow M. Kroll
  • Focus on the Family with Dr. James Dobson
  • Praise In The Night, radio call-in talk show hosted by Steve Solomon.
  • Thru the Bible with the late Dr. J. Vernon McGee
  • Unshackled!
  • K-LOVE christian music.
  • Hope 103.2 Contemporary Christian Radio from Sydney, Australia.
  • Air 1 upbeat christian music.
  • Grace to You
  • The Bible Answer Man Christian Research Institute Christian Doctrine and Teaching
  • CT-20, Canada's Top 20 Contemporary Christian Countdown.
  • MAD Christian Radio Show, an internationally-syndicated Christian rock program

See also[]

  • Christianity
  • Christian media
  • Christian pop culture
  • Religious broadcasting - information on UK-based Christian TV & Radio, as well as overview of US-based networks.
  • Category:Christian radio stations
  • List of Christian radio stations in Canada
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).