Community Ministries Today: Nine Regionally Dispersed Case Studies

Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation

Date: 2001

The term "community ministry" refers to a faith-based social service model, sometimes referred to as “interfaith” or “ecumenical coalitions.” Community ministries define themselves as faith-based, but they are separate organizations from the congregations and denominations that provide them with volunteers and financial contributions. The focus of their ministry can range from the neighborhood community to small towns and counties. Research interest in faith-based social services has surged as a result of the pressure being exerted on these nonprofit organizations. Most of what we know about religious social services is based on studies of congregations, whereas there has been little written about the structure and work of community ministries. Community ministries have their own resources and governance, however, and often have collaborative partners other than the congregations. Therefore, it is important to include community ministries in the analysis of faith-based social services. This study addresses the role and capacity of community ministries in supporting and strengthening disadvantaged children, families, and neighborhoods. The research involves nine mini case studies representing regional and organizational variation: United Ministries, Greenville, South Carolina Northwest Assistance Ministries, Houston, Texas South Louisville Community Ministry, Louisville, Kentucky Christian Community Action, New Haven, Connecticut Northwest Interfaith Movement, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Portland, Oregon Faith Works, Redding, California Schenectady Inner City Ministry, Schenectady, New York Capitol Hill Group Ministry, Washington, D.C. The four major areas of inquiry at each site are: Organizational structure and strategies Programs Capacity of the ministries in terms of budgets and staffing Clients’ needs and the impact of welfare reform

Link: Community Ministries Today: Nine Regionally Dispersed Case Studies

Keyword: Strategy

Region: Northern America