Urban Ministries, Community Building, and Socio-Economic Divisions

Team Members/Contributors

R. Drew Smith Emory University Contact Me

About this project grant for researchers

The project focuses on the positioning of interchurch organizations toward the poor, looking specifically at organizational outreaches, programmatic bridges, and issue alignments that have contributed effectively to Christian community across socio-economic boundaries. Focus groups comprised of representatives of key interchurch ministries concerned with urban ministry and poverty will be convened in six cities: New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. Focus groups participants, who will be persons on the front lines of urban ministry and urban poverty concerns, will be asked about social and religious needs of low-income populations in their respective cities; ministries attempting to respond to those needs (including their own ministry); and factors influencing their organization’s concerns and approaches, including theological doctrines, social convictions, and attributes of the organization’s leadership team. The focus groups will also provide participants with an opportunity for networking and for sharing with each other best practices and valuable lessons from their respective ministry experiences. The plan will be to complete the focus groups by September 2012 and work subsequently toward the completion of a book on “Urban Ministries, Christian Community, and the Challenge of Class.”