Challenging the Root Causes of Hunger and Poverty: Christian Action in the Field of Development

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Karen Blanchard


Using the Appreciative Inquiry approach, my capstone paper reflects on the thoughts and actions of Christians who are challenging the roots of oppression. I addressed the question: What sustainable actions have Christian leaders taken to challenge the root causes of hunger and poverty and how might these actions provide a framework for a faith + action toolkit that young adult Christians can utilize?

This framework evolved through brainstorming, reflecting, and dialoguing. As I started brainstorming, my mind was filled with scattered ideas guided by passion. With direction from my capstone advisor and co-workers, I narrowed down my focus. Reflection on various works of literature influenced this path greatly. After dialogue through three interviews and one focus group, a solid framework for a faith + action toolkit was envisioned.

The toolkit transformed greatly from the time I began the proposal to the time I completed the focus group discussion. A more balanced compilation of ideas surfaced with five main chapters on spiritual grounding, cultural awareness, community, life decisions and knowledge/connections. This final list balanced passion with knowledge, social action with spiritual grounding, and personal awareness with community involvement. In the end, I saw that the possibility of a sustainable faith + action toolkit was possible. The research process gave me hope and personal transformation as well. I realized that my capstone paper is one step of a long journey of challenging myself and other Christians to take Jesus’ radical teachings seriously.


Inequality and Stratification | Religion | Social Welfare

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