Next Article in Journal
Qohelet and the Marks of Modernity: Reading Ecclesiastes with Matthew Arnold and Charles Taylor
Next Article in Special Issue
Envisioning Religiously Diverse Partnership Systems among Government, Faith Communities and FBOs
Previous Article in Journal
Secular Volunteerism among Texan Emerging Adults: Exploring Pathways of Childhood and Adulthood Religiosity
Previous Article in Special Issue
Coopting the State: The Conservative Evangelical Movement and State-Level Institutionalization, Passage, and Diffusion of Faith-Based Initiatives
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Religions 2016, 7(6), 75;

Re-Building Coal Country: A Church/University Partnership

Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 17837, USA
Independent Scholar, Washington DC 20011, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert Wineburg
Received: 25 March 2016 / Revised: 13 May 2016 / Accepted: 24 May 2016 / Published: 13 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Welfare and Social Service Provision: Common Ground)
Full-Text   |   PDF [207 KB, uploaded 13 June 2016]


This paper describes a developing partnership between a church-based service learning center and a university initiative to build a field station in a low-income community in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania. It is a case study of how secular and religious institutions have been collaborating to achieve the shared goal of improving social conditions in specific communities. The theoretical focus of the paper is on how a change from a “glass is half empty” to a “glass is half full” perception of the community opens new possibilities for change. This paper concentrates on the story of one partnership as a case study demonstrating current trends in service learning both within universities and within the Catholic Church in America. Analysis centers on the basic question of why the project had symbolic power for both partners and on the institutional processes within both organizations that helped the partnership grow. We use the framework of Assets-Based Community Development (ABCD), also known as the “strengths perspective”, to conceptualize the contrast. View Full-Text
Keywords: community-based research; service-learning; community development; interinstitutional relations; organizational case studies community-based research; service-learning; community development; interinstitutional relations; organizational case studies
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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Milofsky, C.; Green, B. Re-Building Coal Country: A Church/University Partnership. Religions 2016, 7, 75.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top