Religion, Poverty & Development Project: Stage Three

“The global outreach of American churches often intersects with major government or multilateral development initiatives; knowing the impact of such initiatives can help churches and agencies more effectively shape their programs abroad and their government relations at home. ”

Team Members/Contributors

Stephen W. Offutt Asbury Theological Seminary Contact Me

About this project grant for researchers

I am seeking funding for Stage Three of the Religion, Poverty & Development (RPD) project. I am conducting research on a joint U.S./El Salvador economic development initiative ($365 million). The implementation site in El Salvador has a transnational religious ecology that includes numerous North American church actors.

In Stage One (2014-2015) of the RPD I studied the intersection of religion and poverty before the development initiative. In Stage Two (2016-2019) I gathered data on religious dynamics during the initiative’s implementation. In Stage Three (2020-2021) I will gather follow up data on the first two stages and data for post-project analysis.

I will conduct Stage Three research in the U.S. and El Salvador. I will employ a lived religion approach. I will visit relevant religious and government agencies, connect with project stakeholders, and visit affected communities. I will conduct interviews, focus groups, and ethnographic research. I will use Atlas.ti to analyze the data I collect.

I will share project findings with the church and the academy. Target audiences include North American faith-based NGOs, mission boards, scholars of religion and development, and my seminary students. I will write a book and an article, present at conferences, and use the research to teach.