Religion and the U.S. Nonprofit Sector


Crystal Trull

Reviews (2)

Nika Bukalova
Afnan Koshak


Chapter 20, "Religion and the Nonprofit Sector", found in The Non-profit Sector: A Research Handbook discusses the role religion plays in the history of the provision of social services. The authors, Wendy Cadge and Robert Wuthnow provide a framework for readers to develop a greater understanding of the complexities of religion and how it interacts and connects with the modern nonprofit sector in the United States.  The chapter explores the sociological aspect of religion and its relevance to scholarly interests.  This includes the history of religion, the separation of church and state, religious traditions and beliefs, faith based organizations and congregations, and members behavior such as attendance and giving.

Although the chapter itself provides a lot of data, most of it is outdated.  Therefore, this online course provides a summary of a the relevant topic areas that Cadge's and Wuthnow put forth which include:

  • Religion and Places of Worship - Why religion is important to and is integrated into the nonprofit sector
  • Church and State - The debate and its impact
  • Faith based organizations - how they are different from religious institutions

The course also attempts to build on the authors' ideas about how religion impacts the nonprofit sector and invites you to consider the idea that places of worship are the very foundation of which social service provision rests. It continues to be at the center of all nonprofit functions given that they include the various aspects of what defines the sector itself: volunteerism, advocacy, service provision, philanthropy, and social enterprise.  

In order to navigate through the site as intended, please use the main menu tabs on the left side of the site.  They are meant to build upon each other, so please go through them as they are laid out.  

Throughout this course, you will find embedded links for you to click on in order to provide you with additional information about the topic via a video, related article, or further background about a given subject.  At the end of this course, you will have the opportunity to reflect on the proposed concept and to provide your thoughts about what you have read as well as take a short quiz.  After the completion of the course and submission of your quiz results, you will be notified when your certification of completion has been issued and available to download/print.

Please email me at or call/text me at 858-414-6740 if you have any problems with the site or just need some direction about the navigation process.  

Thank you for spending your time here and I hope you have fun and learn something new!

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