Christian Ideas of Development Understanding the current theories, networks, and priorities of Accord Organizations

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Stephen Offutt
Amy Reynolds


We examine the ways that Accord organizations examine their identities and engage as Christian development actors. Based on a survey of leaders in forty-four Accord organizations and interviews with leaders in twenty-one, we find that leaders claim the faith identities of their organizations as central. At a theoretical level, most organizations generally rely on evangelical thought and practice in thinking about poverty and development, even as they also consult mainstream understandings of development. There are still some questions and tensions surrounding transformational development that confront many of these organizations in practice. At the network level, we find that church partnerships are the most central partnerships for many organizations, and we propose a typology for how such partnerships are employed, arguing that simply noting the shared vision of church partnerships might ignore important differences among strategies. Finally, we argue that at the organizational level, more attention should be paid to power dynamics and training, because a focus on external programming often may not reflect internal decisions within an organization.

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How to Cite
Offutt, S., & Reynolds, A. (2019). Christian Ideas of Development. Christian Relief, Development, and Advocacy: The Journal of the Accord Network, 1(1), 1-14. Retrieved from