Religious Elements of Faith-Based Social Programs

Heidi Rolland Unruh and Ronald J. Sider

in Saving Souls, Serving Society

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780195161557
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835836 | DOI:
 Religious Elements of Faith-Based Social Programs

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Some faith-based social service programs incorporate specifically religious content, intended to expose beneficiaries to religious resources, messages, or activities. Religious program elements include religious references in program self-descriptions, religious objects in the program environment, invitations to religious activities, prayer, use of sacred texts, worship, sharing of personal testimonies, religious teachings, and invitations to a personal faith commitment (proselytizing). Seven variables further describe the style or format of these religious elements, particularly whether they are mandatory, and how they are structured into the program methodology. From this follows five general strategies for incorporating a religious dimension into social services: implicit, invitational, relational, integrated-optional, and mandatory.

Keywords: faith-based social services; prayer; sacred texts; worship; religious teachings; proselytizing; religion

Chapter.  6529 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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