Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Community & Leadership Development

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Community and Leadership Development

First Advisor

Dr. Ronald J. Hustedde


The purpose of this study is to investigate the work of Christian faith-based organizations (FBO) doing community development work in Kentucky and to learn about how they might be using community development concepts and system approaches as articulated in the Community Capitals Framework (CCF) and to critically examine those findings. The CCF is comprised of seven capitals including Natural, Cultural, Human, Social, Political, Financial, and Built. Emery and Flora (2006) assert that the “CCF offers a way to analyze community and economic development efforts from a systems perspective by identifying the assets in each capital (stock), the types of capital investment (flow), the interaction among the capitals, and the resulting impacts across capitals” (p.20). This study will explore and test how faith-based organizations are deliberately incorporating a systems approach through the application of the seven capitals in their planning; how they are emphasizing or de-emphasizing certain kinds of capital; and, how a particular-capital might be influencing people and communities. While many FBO’s are using some community development approaches in Kentucky, there is limited understanding about how they may or may not be using systems theory as manifested in the community capitals context. This study contains a critical analysis that might be helpful for government and private sector policy development. It provides insights about the applicability and limitations of the CCF in doing faith-based community development. I hope to use the knowledge gained from this study to further explore faith-based community development in my home country, Liberia.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)