About Us


Our Mission.

The Center on Faith in Communities seeks to inspire, educate, equip, and resource the Christian community for the work of mercy and justice among the poor.

What We Do.

Our work falls into two broad categories: capacity building and applied research.

We provide training for community ministry practitioners through on-site and telephone consultations and Dr. Sherman’s presentations at conferences, as well as through our content-rich Web site. On this site, you can access numerous practical resources such as how-to toolkits, program manuals, and case studies of effective ministry models. You can also use the site to access Frequently Asked Questions, book Dr. Sherman for a speaking engagement or consult, or send us a technical assistance request. We hope CFIC can inspire you in your work by showing you plausible ministry models and sharing success stories fro a variety of Christian community ministry programs (see the “Envision” department). We also seek to equip practitioners with how-to resources and articles highlighting best practices (see the “Equip” department). And we want to encourage Christian ministries among the poor. To that end, we help sponsor and oversee the annual Partners in Transformation grants competition that awards cash grants to promising models of faith-based, multi-sector collaborations. In the near future, CFIC will also be launching its own philanthropic endeavor to provide additional grants (see the “Encourage” department). CFIC also serves as the editorial office for FASTEN  (Faith and Service Technical Education Network), a web-based clearinghouse of hundreds of quality-screened educational resources for faith-based practitioners and the donors and public officials interested in collaborating with them on social service initiatives.

CFIC also conducts practical research projects that contribute to the shaping of public policies that facilitate effective grassroots organizations and empower faith-based community practitioners. Our major projects have covered such topics as faith-government collaboration in social services; the strategic role of intermediary organizations; the community serving activities of Hispanic congregations; and the extent of earned income venturing among faith-based social service organizations. These projects typically result in new publications by CFIC (e.g., case studies, survey reports, magazine articles, program manuals, and best practice reports).

Our Staff

CFIC is directed by Dr. Amy L. Sherman, the Daniel R. Coats Chair in Religion and Civic Engagement at the foundation for American Renewal. (Click here for full bio.) Sherman is a Senior Fellow at the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research. She is the author of four books, numerous “how-to” ministry manuals, and scores of published articles. She is a frequent speaker at conferences gathering Christian community ministry practitioners and at public policy events related to faith-based initiatives. She has served as an advisor to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, provided expert testimony at Congressional hearings, and briefs local, state, and federal public officials on policies regarding faith-based social services. Sherman is the founder and former executive director of Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries, a holistic, Christian community development ministry serving an urban community of approximately 370 lower-income families. Currently, Sherman also volunteers as a Senior Fellow for the International Justice Mission and is an active member of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, VA. Sherman received her undergraduate degree from Messiah College in 1987 and her Ph.D. in foreign affairs/economic development from the University of Virginia in 1994.

Kelly Givens serves CFIC full-time as a research and administrative assistant. She is a 2009 graduate of James Madison University. Before joining CFIC, Kelly was a 2010 Fellow at McLean Presbyterian Church in McLean, Virginia, where she interned at Reformed Theological Seminary. Kelly provides research and administrative assistance to Dr. Sherman, oversees content management for the FASTEN project, manages CFIC’s databases, and serves as office manager.

Contact Us

Mailing Address:
Center on Faith in Communities
757 King Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Telephone: 434-293-5656
Fax: 434-295-8728
Email: info@centeronfic.org

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Donate to CFIC

As a nonprofit ministry, we greatly appreciate financial support from individual donors. All gifts are tax-deductible. Donations should be made payable to the Foundation for American Renewal and mailed to the CFIC offices at 757 King Street, 757 King Street, Charlottesville, VA 22903.

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