Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Lois Bosch

Second Advisor

Gary A. Wilkerson

Third Advisor

Vivian Jenkins Nelsen


This thesis reports on the initial phase of research regarding the variables related to social service and justice advocacy activities of congregations in the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. An extensive review of literature from a variety of disciplines and resources provides the basis for this study. Theoretical frameworks pertinent to this work include resource mobilization, ecological systems, and social justice theories as well as the contextual framework of Lutheranism's Christian beliefs. In addition to congregations' demographic and belief variables, the literature emphasizes relational community organizing to develop awareness among groups from the dominant culture and increase social capital and resources in groups who are marginalized. Social work macro practices in faith-based contexts receive special emphasis in the literature review and recommendations. The secondary analysis of the first phase data informs the recommendations for the second phase of research, which are included in this thesis.


SC 11.MSW.2007.Clark.MS

Included in

Social Work Commons