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Religions 2018, 9(4), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9040122

The Value of Money: Funding Sources and Philanthropic Priorities in Twentieth-Century American Mission

Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church, 458 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, USA
Received: 9 February 2018 / Revised: 2 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
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Abstract

At the turn of the twentieth century, Western missionaries and mission organizations sought to develop financial strategies that would facilitate the further expansion of the Western mission enterprise. Three such strategies emerged: an increasingly sophisticated, corporatized approach to fundraising by mission boards; faith missions that shifted the economic risks associated with fundraising from mission agencies to missionaries; and self-supporting missions that cultivated economic funding available in the mission field. Each of these strategies had different implications for power configurations in the mission enterprise and allowed the values and views of different groups to prevail. The board approach empowered mission executives and large donors. The faith mission approach empowered missionaries and supporters with a conservative theology. The self-supporting mission approach made missionaries arbiters among a variety of competing interests. This economic approach to the study of mission provides new insights into the complex and contested power arrangements involved in Western foreign mission that extend beyond those gained from traditional political and cultural analyses. View Full-Text
Keywords: mission; fundraising; mission boards; faith mission; self-supporting mission; missionaries; money; power mission; fundraising; mission boards; faith mission; self-supporting mission; missionaries; money; power
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Scott, D.W. The Value of Money: Funding Sources and Philanthropic Priorities in Twentieth-Century American Mission. Religions 2018, 9, 122.

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