With the Protestant Reformation came a large number of different sects of Christianity. There were now many churches instead of one church. This helped lead to the exploration and settlement of the New World.
After the Reformation, people of different faiths often lived together in one country. Often, one faith would be discriminated against by the other faith. An example of this was the way in which Puritans were oppressed by the Church of England. When this sort of thing happened, the oppressed group would sometimes leave (as the Puritan/Pilgrims did) and go to the New World in search of a place where they could worship in their own way.
In this way, the Protestant Reformation eventually helped to lead to exploration and settlement of the New World.