The role of community psychology in Christian community development.

Eccleston SMP, Perkins DD
J Community Psychol. 2019 47 (2): 291-310

PMID: 30152862 · DOI:10.1002/jcop.22121

This project examines the connections between community psychology and faith-based community development. We investigate whether and how 4 major principles of community psychology-neighboring, sense of community, empowerment, and citizen participation-are found in the theory and philosophy of practice of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), a national faith-based community development network. We employ content analysis of four official CCDA publications to identify whether and how these four principles are embedded in the organization's espoused principles of practice. Our findings are as follows: (a) All four principles are found within CCDA theory and philosophy of practice, with the greatest emphasis on neighboring and sense of community and a less robust application of empowerment and citizen participation; (b) CCDA primarily focuses on the individual-level impact of these principles; and (c) CCDA Bases their application of these principles in Christian scripture and tradition. Our results indicate that the field could be strengthened by examining religious approaches to these principles and considering how organizations engage these concepts in both the theory and the practice. Additionally, faith-based organizations may foster a more effective application of these concepts in their social change efforts by partnering with community researchers and practitioners.

© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

MeSH Terms (10)

Adult Christianity Community Networks Empowerment Humans Psychology Qualitative Research Social Behavior Social Participation Social Planning

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