Outcomes evaluation in faith-based social services: Are we evaluating faith accurately?

Kristin M. Ferguson, Qiaobing Wu, Donna Spruijt-Metz, Grace Dyrness

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


In response to a recent call for research on the effectiveness of faith-based organizations, this article synthesizes how effectiveness has been defined and measured in evaluation research of faith-based programs. Although evidence indicates that religion can have a positive impact on individuals' well-being, no prior comprehensive review exists of the literature on the effectiveness of faith-based social service programs. Adopting the systematic review method, the authors explore how researchers have conceptualized and operationalized effectiveness and faith. The authors identify trends and limitations across studies and conclude with implications for researchers and practitioners interested in examining and delivering faith-based social services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-276
Number of pages13
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Effectiveness
  • Faith-based
  • FBO
  • Outcomes
  • Religion
  • Systematic review method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)


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