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Saving Souls, Serving SocietyUnderstanding the Faith Factor in Church-Based Social Ministry$
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Heidi Rolland Unruh and Ronald J. Sider

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195161557

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195161556.001.0001

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Religious Elements of Faith-Based Social Programs

Religious Elements of Faith-Based Social Programs

(p.87) 5 Religious Elements of Faith-Based Social Programs
Saving Souls, Serving Society

Heidi Rolland Unruh

Ronald J. Sider (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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

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