Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Anne Westhues

Advisor Role

Thesis Co-Supervisor

Second Advisor

Oscar Cole Arnal

Advisor Role

Thesis Co-Supervisor


This thesis is an exploration of the models of relationship that are evident in the Region of Waterloo, between church-affiliated social service agencies and their supporting church bodies. Church-affiliated social service agencies were defined as those that either use Christian terminology or denominational names in their title, that require church representation at a board or corporate membership level, or that receive regular, committed financial or volunteer support from a church body. Ten agencies that fit this description were studied, with interviews conducted with agency representatives as well as four church representatives from organizations representing three different models. An interview was also held with another church-affiliated institution which had connections with many of the agencies studied. A qualitative analysis of these interviews determined that there are five models of relationship between church bodies and church- affiliated social service agencies apparent in the Region of Waterloo. These models are expressed on a continuum of involvement based on degree of formality of the relationship to the church at the administrative level, and closeness to the church as determined by the presence or absence of theology and religious values in programming at the service delivery level. From most connected to a church body to least connected, the models are: Church Owned, Church Approved, Church Related, Church Supported, and Secularized. The Church Related and Church Supported models involved the greatest number of agencies, seven of ten, while the other three models were each represented by one agency.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Social Work Commons