Working with Faith: Faith-Based Organisations and People who have Drug or Alcohol Issues in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Thesis DisciplineHuman Services
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Faith-based organizations contribute significantly to the human services but are relatively neglected in the academic literature. This research aims to address this gap. The field of alcohol and drug use is one in which faith-based organizations have long been involved and in which they claim to have considerable success. Therefore it was chosen as a context within which to research such organizations. The overall purpose is to describe the principal characteristics of faith-based organizations. A questionnaire was used to gather data from fifteen faith-based organizations in Aotearoa New Zealand - from about twenty that were found to provide services in this field. Despite the small sample, the key characteristics of faith-based organizations can be identified. All respondents were ministers or managers of the faith-based organizations. They provide detailed information about various aspects of the organizations. It would be insightful to gather data from clients also, but such analysis is beyond the scope of this thesis. The faith-based organizations are divided into three types: congregations, denominations and independents. The data for all three is presented and discussed in the thesis. Research questions concern mission statements, leadership, staff, clients, services, religiosity, funds, facilities and links with other organizations. In answering these, conclusions can be drawn concerning the purpose of the research – describing the main characteristics of faith-based organizations.