More than 85% of Canadian CRC members believe that doing justice is an essential part of Christian faith.
This is one of many findings of the Justice and Faith Project: Individual Spirituality and Social Responsibility in the Christian Reformed Church in Canada which was a two-year, collaborative project completed in 2015 which sought to more fully understand the relationship between justice and faith in the CRC, and to encourage and enable CRC people to embrace justice as an integral aspect of Christian faith and life. The findings are presented in two reports:
These reports provided descriptive summaries of the data that was collected over the course of the project. They are supplemented by discussion of relevant academic and popular literature in three blog posts on the Institute for Christian Studies’ Ground Motive blog:
The one-act play Just Faith? was presented as part of the Justice and Faith project in Maple Ridge, Abbotsford, Agassiz, Toronto, and Ottawa. The play and following discussion can help your community understand the role that justice plays in your identity as people of faith.
Contact us to receive a congregation toolkit that includes the play script and community dialogue guidelines.
Justice and Faith: Individual Spirituality and Social Responsibility in the Christian Reformed Church of Canada is a two-year, collaborative project seeking to more fully understand the relationship between justice and faith in the CRC, and to encourage and enable CRC people to embrace justice as an integral aspect of Christian faith and life.
The Justice and Faith project asks three main research questions:
How is the relationship between justice and faith currently understood and practiced in North American (especially Canadian, evangelical) Christianity?
To what extent is doing justice a priority in the faith lives of CRC congregants?
How can CRC people be best mobilized to embrace justice as an integral part of Christian faith and life?
Data has been collected using key informant interviews, a representative survey of CRC members, and a literature review. Interim findings have been published in September 2014 and are available here. Further analysis will take place throughout the second year of the project, including several ways to include feedback and analysis from Christian Reformed members and others. More information about the project, methods and timeline can be found in the Project Description and Workplan.
Information about project progress and findings is shared regularly with project stakeholders by email, and can also be found on the Updates and Articles page. We invite your input, feedback and dialogue about the project, its process and findings at any time; visit the Get Involved page to learn more.
The CRCNA’s mission statement reflects the Biblical call to do justice, saying:
“As people called by God,
...We pursue God’s justice and peace in every area of life.”
The Justice and Faith project is helping us to understand how CRC people understand and do “justice,” and to identify ways to more effectively support and encourage each other in living out this mission statement as an expression of our Christian faith.
The Centre for Community Based Research defines community based research as research that strives to be:
Community situated: the project began because CRC staff and members wanted to learn more about how the relationship between justice and faith is understood and expressed in the CRC. In addition to engaging CRC people through the research methods, the research team is continually open to feedback and dialogue, and provides regular project updates and opportunities for input from stakeholders.
Collaborative: the project is a collaborative initiative between various CRC offices, agencies and ministries, the Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR), and the Centre for Philosophy, Religion and Social Ethics (CPRSE) at the Institute for Christian Studies.
Action-oriented: the research process creates space for dialogue and empowers and encourages CRC individuals and congregations are encouraged and empowered to learn more about and act for justice. There’s no need to wait for a project report!
The research team carries out the research tasks and administration of the project. Research team members are:
Steve van de Hoef - Justice and Faith Project Coordinator, Christian Reformed Church
Ronald A. Kuipers - Director, Centre for Philosophy, Religion and Social Ethics and Associate Professor of Religion, Institute for Christian Studies
Allyson Carr - Associate Director, Centre for Philosophy, Religion and Social Ethics, Institute for Christian Studies
Joanna Ochocka - Executive Director, Centre for Community Based Research
Rich Janzen - Research Director, Centre for Community Based Research
Joshua Harris - PhD student, Institute for Christian Studies
Hector Acero Ferrer - MA student, Institute for Christian Studies
A steering committee provides oversight and direction to the research team. It is a cross-stakeholder committee, meaning that its members bring the perspectives of those who are principally involved in and impacted by the project.