USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

Resources on Faith-Based Community Organizing

Resources on Faith-Based Community Organizing

Resources on Faith-Based Community Organizing

The following are resources about faith-based community organizing compiled by Interfaith Funders, a network grantmakers that was committed to social change and economic justice. Though the network is no longer in operation, Interfaith Funders transferred several of its reports and articles to the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture to preserve and push forward the insights gained through its work.


Direct Action and Research Training Center
137 N.E. 19th St. Miami, FL 33132

Gamaliel Foundation
203 N. Wabash Ave. Chicago, IL 60601

Industrial Areas Foundation
220 West Kinzie, 5th FL Chicago, IL 60610

People Improving Communities Through Organizing
formerly known as Pacific Institute for Community Organization
171 Santa Rosa Ave. Oakland, CA 99610

Regional Council of Neighborhood Organizations
Los Angeles, CA

InterValley Project
1075 Washington St, W. Newton, MA


Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
Congregation-based Community Organizing website

Presbyterian Church USA
Urban Ministry Office website on Community Organizing/Development

Unitarian Universalist Association
Congregation-based Community Organizing website

Jewish FundS for Justice
Community Organizing Website
see link below for their article: Faith-Based Community Organizing; A Unique Social Justice Approach to Revitalizing Synagogue Life

US Conference of Catholic Bishops
Catholic Campaign for Human Development website

Christians Supporting Community Organizing
For evangelical, Pentecostal and holiness congregations and denominations


Neighborhood Funders Group
offers Community Organizing Toolbox: A Funders’ Guide to Community Organizing by Larry Parachini and Sally Covington.

Funders Network on Smart Growth and Liveable Cities
offers Community Organizing: A Populist Base for Social Equity and Smart Growth by Rich Stolz


Center for Community Change
offers Transforming Lives and Communities: Community Organizing for YOU!

Comm-Org – Online Conference on Community Organizing


Better Together: Restoring the American Community
by Robert Putnam and Lewis M. Feldstein
Simon and Schuster, 2003

Breathing Space: A Spiritual Journey in the South Bronx
by Heidi B. Neumark
Beacon Press, 2003

Cold Anger: A Story of Faith and Power Politics
by Mary Beth Rogers
University of North Texas Press, 1990

Community Organizing for School Reform
by Dennis Shirley
University of Texas Press, 1997

Cultural Dilemmas of Progressive Politics: Styles of Engagement among Grassroots Activists
by Stephen Hart
University of Chicago Press, 2001

Doing Justice: Congregations and Community Organizing
by Dennis A. Jacobsen
Augsburg Fortress Press, 2003

Dry Bones Rattling: Community Building to Revitalize American Democracy
by Mark Warren
Princeton University Press, 2001

Funding Justice: The Legacy of the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program
by Warren Ross
Skinner House, 2005

Faith in Action: Religion, Race, and Democratic Organizing in America
by Richard L. Wood
University of Chicago Press, 2002

Gathering Power: The Future of Progressive Politics in America
by Paul Osterman
Beacon Press, 2003

Going Public: An Inside Story of Disrupting Politics as Usual
by Michael Gecan
Beacon Press, 2002

Religion as Social Capital: Producing the Common Good
edited by Corwin Smidt
Baylor University Press, 2003

Roots for Radicals: Organizing for Power, Action, and Justice
by Edward Chambers
Contiuum Press, 2003

Rules for Radicals and Reveille for Radicals
by Saul Alinsky
Vintage Press (the classic from 1946)

Transforming Power: Biblical Strategies for Making a Difference in Your Community
by Robert Linthicum
Intervarsity Press, 2003


Building Democracy: Faith-Based Community Organization Today
by Mark Warren
Shelterforce (Jan/Feb. 2001)

Community Organizing: A Quiet Revolution Religion Link (Especially for Reporters)

Faith-Based Organizing and the Struggle for Justice
by Richard L. Wood in Handbook of the Sociology of Religion, Michele Dillon, ed.
Cambridge University Press, 2003

Family, Church, and Neighborhood: Latinos of faith exercising collective power to improve daily
by Timothy Matovina.
The Witness Magazine, May 2002

Faith-Based Community Organizing; A Unique Social Justice Approach to Revitalizing Synagogue Life
by Julie Chizewer Weill and Lee Winkleman

Organizing Like Jesus: The Politics of Faith-Based Community Organizing
by Shayna Storm The Next American City (Issue 3, October 2003)

Setting the State Agenda: Church-Based Community Organizations in American Urban Politics by Heidi J. Swarts
States, Parties, and Social Movements, Jack A. Goldstone, ed.
Cambridge University Press, 2003