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New Christian Names Blend Spirit and Style

August 21, 2020 Clare Green
modern christian names

Modern Christian names combine spirituality with style, conveying a faith-based message with contemporary sensibility.

These new names with an evangelical feel aren’t traditional biblical names, well-worn virtue names, or even the old prophet names that are so popular nowadays. No, this is a fresh, modern style of Christian names that shout their meaning to the rooftops.

This style draws together several types of name. There are word names, some overtly Christian, like Amen, Epiphany, and the Kardashian-West boys’ names, Saint and Psalm. Others have more subtle symbolism and can also be secular, such as River and Shepherd.

Like Saint, these modern Christian names can have quite grandiose meanings — Savior and Messiah, for example. These may seem novel to English speakers, but other cultures traditionally use names with these meanings, like Salvador.

Other names in this style are biblical place names such as Jericho and Galilee, titles like Kyrie and Adonai, and books of the bible. Genesis is by far the most popular, especially if you include all the spelling variations.

We see these modern Christian names as part of a larger trend for spiritual names of all kinds, by parents seeking names that are fresh, distinctive and full of meaning. Join us for a deeper look.

Christian or secular?

The popularity charts show that some modern evangelical names got their break from pop culture, especially on-screen characters and celebrity baby names.

That doesn’t mean they’re not Christian. Most of the starbabies and characters were no doubt named with spiritual meaning in mind, and there’s probably an overlapping Venn diagram of parents who also consider this, and ones who choose them for the fame factor. The celebs certainly played a role in making the public aware that these could be baby names.

Canaan — Shot up in 2015 and 2016 after Oprah Winfrey revealed it was her son’s name.
Creed Rose in 2016 after the 2015 Rocky franchise movie of the same name. Teen Mom personality Kailyn Lowry just used it for her son, after the fictional boxer.
Cross — Broke into the chance in 1997, thanks to Alex Cross, a character in the movie Kiss the Girls (credit to Nancy’s Baby Names for this).
Deacon — Boosted by Reese Witherspoon’s son in 2003, and a character in the show Nashville from 2012.
Halo Rose for girls and entered the chart for boys in 2008, the year of Beyoncé’s single.
Psalm — We’re eager to find out if Kimye’s name pick had an impace on the 2019 charts.
Saint — Another Kardashian-West name, soaring up since 2017.
Shiloh — In the girls’ Top 1000 since 2007, the year after Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie used it for their child. They are now called John.
Trinity — Peaked in 2004, just after the Matrix movies were in theaters.

New Christian names

These names have never been used until recent years, or were given to under 5 children in a year so didn’t show up on the charts. Most are now used for a small number of children each year.

Adonai — first used in 1990 for boys, 2001 for girls
Believe — 2014 (g)
Bethlehem — 1985 (g)
Bless — 1987 (g), 2001 (b)
Blessed — 1993 (g), 2001 (b)
Blessin — 1997 (g), 2018 (b)
Blessings — 2000 for girls)
Calvary — 1998 (b), 2009 (g)
Chosen — 2003 (b), 2005 (g)
Cross — 1997 (b)
Emmaus — 2007 (b), 2013 (g)
Exodus — 1999 (b)
Galilee — 2001 (g)
Gift — 1999 (g), 2016 (b)
Gracious — 1999 (g)
Hallelujah — 2001 (g)
Halo — 2000 (g), 2008 (b)
Kingdom — 2008 (b)
Praise — 1990 (g), 2001 (b)
Psalm — 1999 (g+b)
Rejoice — 1997 (g)
Righteous — 2001 (b), 2011 (g)
Sacred — 2003 (g)
Savior — 1998 (b)
Saviour — 2005 (b)
Soul — 2000 (b), 2002 (g)
Testimony — 2017 (g)
Triumph — 2007 (b)
Zeal — 2006 (b), 2009 (g)

Older favorites

These names have a longer history of use (in a broad spectrum from ancient days to the 1970s) and might sound more familiar. Some are currently falling from peak popularity, but they all have a modern Christian flavor and are relatively well-known.

Emmanuel
Evangeline
Faith
Genesis
Glory
Heaven
Jubilee
Mercy
Miracle
Selah
Trinity

Other modern Christian names

Christian Names for Girls

Names marked * were also given to a small number of boys in 2018.

Divinity
Epiphany
Heavenly
Hosanna
Manna
Paradise
Passion
Promise*
Providence
Sinai*
Spirit

Christian Names for Boys

Names marked * were also given to a small number of girls in 2018.

Fisher*
Jericho*
Leviticus
Messiah*
Prophet
Ransom
Shepherd

Unisex Names

Alpha
Amen
Blessing
Cruz
Divine
Holy
Jerusalem
Kyrie
Nazareth
Omega
River
Salem
Zion

What are your favorite names in this style? Have you spotted any we missed?

About the author

Clare Green

Clare Green writes Nameberry's weekly round-up of the latest baby name news, including celebrity announcements, unusual naming stories, and new statistics from around the world . Clare, who has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, lives in England, where she has worked in libraries and studies linguistics. You can follow her personally on Instagram and Twitter.

View all of Clare Green's articles

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