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Community Development Professors Co-Author Book on Helping the Poor

Prof. Steve Corbett

Prof. Steve Corbett, assistant professor of community development at Covenant College, and Dr. Brian Fikkert, associate professor of economics & community development at Covenant College and director of The Chalmers Center, have co-authored When Helping Hurts: How To Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . . and Yourself. Published by Moody Publishers, the book will be released July 1, 2009.


When Helping Hurts provides a biblically-based framework for helping the poor by shedding light on the causes of poverty and offering principles for effective ministry. When Moody Publishers asked Fikkert and Corbett to write the book, "we jumped at the opportunity," said Fikkert. "Jesus came declaring the good news of the kingdom of God in both word and deed to the poor.  As his body, the church must do the same.  It's not something that we should just do if we can get around to it."


Dr. Brian Fikkert

But, as Fikkert and Corbett point out, good intentions are not enough. Effective strategies for ministry require knowledge about the causes of poverty, and the book addresses these.  "Readers are challenged to consider that they are suffering from the same fundamental problems that ensnare poor people," says Fikkert.  "In fact, until readers embrace their own brokenness, their ministry efforts are likely to do considerable damage to poor people and to themselves."


When Helping Hurts captures many of the concepts that Corbett and Fikkert team-teach in the course "Theory of Community Development" at Covenant, as well as the concepts that provide the foundation of the Chalmers Center's training of churches and missionaries.


When Helping Hurts will be available for purchase from Covenant College's bookstore, The Tuck Shoppe, and