The role of associational life in the development of social capital: Theoretical considerations for Christian NGOs engaged in development initiatives


Cook School of Intercultural Studies

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Relying on social science and missiological research, the purpose of this article is to discuss theoretical considerations of associational life as a strategy of Christian NGOs involved in development initiatives in majority-world countries. Research has revealed the unintended consequences of NGOs as well as the complexity of local community dynamics where NGOs work. It is also well known that religion plays an important role in the functioning of society. Therefore, while Christian NGOs working in majority-world countries are not immune from the same challenges as secular NGOs, by recognizing and understanding the value of religion, Christian NGOs may be better equipped than their secular counterparts to incorporate this aspect of social life into their development activities.


Associational life, social capital, Christian NGOs

Publication Title

Missiology: An International Review

DOI of Published Version