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BOOKS FOR FAITH

“Kingdom Calling”

“Agents of Flourishing”

“Sharing God’s Heart for the Poor”

“Soul of Development”

“Restorers of Hope”

“Preferential Option–A Christian and Neoliberal Strategy for Latin America’s Poor”

 

Theology Meets Practice: KINGDOM BUSINESS

“Every Business Decision is a Theological Decision: An Interview with CEO Eric Stumberg”

 “The Cutting Edge of Marketplace Ministries”

 “How Can We Encourage Safe and Encouraging Work Environments?”

 “Good Eats and Evangelism: A Whole-Gospel Restaurant Serving Pittsburgh’s Soul”

 “Building Houses as if They Mattered”

 “When the Imago Dei Defines a Business Culture”

 “A Higher Calling for Business” (Address for Evangelical Seminary’s “Faith in the Marketplace” Business Breakfast 3/19/13)

 

 Theology Meets Practice: ECONOMICS, POVERTY & GENEROSITY

“Honoring Jesus in Every Economic Endeavor”

“Learning What Being Poor Feels Like”

“Jumpstart Your Generosity”

“What’s At Stake When Congregations Ignore Economics?”

“Toward Civic Justice & Economic Empowerment”

Generosity and Justice: Fellowship Bible Church

“Racial Wealth Gap and What Your Church Can Do About It”

 

Theology Meets Practice: SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

“How One Church Launched 11 Social Ventures”

“A Theology of Work and Entrepreneurship: Plenary Address for Praxis Academy 2018”

Theology Meets Practice: JUSTICE

“An Ichthus in a Sea of Loan Sharks”

“Oldest Profession or Oldest Oppression? Ohio Judge Creates Court for Abused Prostitutes”

What does CFIC do?

CFIC is a “minister to ministries.” We come alongside ministry leaders with practical training, consulting, and “how-to” resources.

Our training/consulting empowers ministry leaders for launching or sustaining effective, holistic community ministries that leverage the skills and assets of both the Christ-followers who want to serve and the community members themselves. This brings about mutual transformation and a deeper experience of God’s shalom.

Our evaluation projects help ministry leaders document their value and achievements while also identifying areas for improvement. This strengthens programmatic effectiveness and garners additional investment, so that ministries can deepen and extend their life-transforming labors.

Our research projects discover and showcase best practices and effective models, guiding ministry leaders towards “what works” in advancing human flourishing.

CFIC is also a “discipler of disciplers.” We come alongside pastors and congregational leaders with educational resources (books, workshops, consulting) that empower them to show Christ-followers how their daily work can be an act of worship that advances foretastes of Jesus’ Kingdom.

Why does CFIC exist?

Many communities are plagued by poverty and injustice. Our neighbors are hurting.

Many churches want to live into Jesus’ call to love their neighbors but aren’t sure how to go about that in ways that bring genuine flourishing. Meanwhile, pastors need help discipling their congregants for joyful, purposeful, whole-life stewardship, where their gifts and skills are mobilized for Kingdom advance.

Dedicated, frontline ministry practitioners are hard at work trying to nurture hope and renewal. Some have pioneered innovative solutions that many more people need to hear about. Some need help documenting their value so that more donors will invest. Others are struggling to achieve their goals and want help to rethink and revise their strategies and programs.

What progress has CFIC made?

Over the past 25 years, CFIC Director Amy Sherman has become a national thought leader in the Christian community on issues of justice, effective community ministry, and faith/work integration. Her voice is heard through publications like Christianity Today, the Christian Century, and World and on stage at national events like the Q Conference, Jubilee, Urbana, Acton U, CCDA, The Gathering, and Praxis. In 2012, Christianity Today named her one of the 50 most influential Evangelical women in America. Sherman is also reaching the next generation as a sought-out chapel speaker for dozens of Christian colleges.

CFIC research projects have influenced White House and state government policies and shaped the investment strategies of a variety of Christian philanthropic foundations.

CFIC’s training workshops have reached thousands of congregational leaders and frontline ministry practitioners. We have also provided more in-depth coaching/consulting for over 95 churches and 50+ Christian nonprofits. Because of our capacity building work, churches and nonprofit ministries have been able to start new ministries or expand existing ones, garner greater donor and volunteer support, and improve on their targeted outcomes.

CFIC has led impact evaluations for numerous national (e.g., Jobs for Life, CCDA, UWYI, and Elevate USA), international (e.g., Viva Networks, Redeemer City to City), and city based (e.g., Outreach-Indianapolis, Caring for Kids-Kansas City) ministries. These efforts have enabled the ministries to strengthen their communications and fund development efforts as well as refine their programs for greater effectiveness.

Meet Dr. Amy Sherman

Senior Fellow Amy L. Sherman, Ph.D., directs Sagamore Institute’s Center on Faith in Communities (CFIC). CFIC is a capacity building initiative for congregations and faith-based and community-based organizations. Its aim is to help leaders invest more strategically and effectively in their communities as they address poverty and injustice. Sherman has led multiple evaluation projects for faith-based organizations, including the Christian Community Development Association, Jobs for Life, Caring for Kids, Viva Networks, the Urban Youth Workers Institute, and Outreach, Inc. She is a frequent speaker/trainer at gatherings for congregational and nonprofit ministry leaders. Sherman has written several resource guides for community development practitioners, including The Charitable Choice Handbook for Ministry Leaders, The ABCS of Community Ministry: A Curriculum for Congregations; and Establishing a Church-based, Welfare-to-Work Mentoring Ministry: A Practical “How-to” Guide.

Sherman also works closely with Made to Flourish (MTF), a pastors’ network for the common good focused on issues of faith and work. Her book on that topic, Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good, won honors in 2013 as Christianity Today’s choice as Book of the Year in the Christian Living category. She writes regularly for MTF’s Common Good magazine and for madetoflourish.org.

Sherman is the author of seven books and over 100 articles and essays. Her most recent book is Agents of Flourishing: Pursuing Shalom in Every Corner of Society (IVP, forthcoming 2022). Her articles and essays have appeared in such magazines as The Public Interest, Policy Review, First Things, Christianity Today, Philanthropy, The American Enterprise, The Christian Century, and Books & Culture.

Sherman has led several major Sagamore research projects including the first major study of faith-based intermediary organizations; the largest national survey of Hispanic church-based community ministries in the U.S.; the largest survey ever of Christian women on their giving and volunteering patterns; a 6-city demonstration project on financial literacy for urban youth; and the development of FASTEN, the web’s largest clearinghouse of practical, educational materials and tools for organizations seeking the revitalization of their communities.

Sherman is founder and former executive director of Charlottesville Abundant life Ministries, a holistic, cross-cultural, whole-family, church-based outreach in an urban neighborhood of approximately 380 lower-income families.

Sherman earned her BA in Political Science at Messiah College (197) and her M.A. and Ph.D. in international economic development from the University of Virginia (1994). She volunteered for several years as a Senior Fellow with the International Justice Mission, is a longtime member of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, VA, and is a passionate UVA men’s basketball fan.

Get Involved

King Jesus is on a mission to bring hope and renewal to broken places and He invites us to join Him in his transformative work. At the Center on Faith in Communities, we are living into that mission by equipping frontline ministry practitioners, congregational leaders, and Christian philanthropists—and multiplying their effectiveness. You can participate in this exciting work by:

  • Spreading the word on best practices and promising ministry models highlighted by CFIC among your personal and professional networks
  • Recommending CFIC staff as speakers, trainers, consultants, or evaluators for the congregations and ministries you are part of
  • Sharing CFIC books and articles with ministry leaders you know
  • Praying for CFIC’s staff and projects
  • Donating to support CFIC’s Kingdom-advancing labors

*Please select “Center on Faith in Communities” in the designation field under the “Donate to Sagamore Institute” section.

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