Archived page

The Religion and Development program finished in 2017.

For information on current programs on Theology please see here.


Development. Religion. Faith-based approach. Theology of work. Rights-based approach.

This program seeks to understand the nature of the relationship between religion and development.

How can development undertaken by faith-based practitioners use religious or theological resources in their work on human rights or other issues?

We want to deepen understanding of religious institutions, ideas and practices as they relate to development, promoting an inter-disciplinary perspective on development that focuses on best practices.  

Our member churches assume a faith-oriented approach to development but have high regard for secular development practices. We use our own theological resources while learning from other approaches in order to strengthen our contribution to the wellbeing of society.

Theology of Work

Sub-program | This annual symposium seeks to provide a platform for theological and inter-disciplinary reflection on the topic of work. We bring together participants from different disciplines to explore the possible contribution of Lutheran theology of vocation to the understanding of work.


  • Three workshops on rights-based approach principles for church leaders, development workers and theology faculty. Focus is on broad participation of youth, women and persons with diverse skills to strengthen the effectiveness of local churches. Workshops aim to foster a link between church life and the human rights principles for development.
  • Workshops with seminaries to establish curriculum that ensures the inclusion of human rights dimensions in pastoral formation

On the Horizon

  • In-depth study of 30 congregations in three countries to deepen understanding of the effectiveness and deficiencies of local congregational participation in development work | 2014
  • Findings of the congregational study presented to partners | 2015
  • Proposals to strengthen the capacities of the identified congregations in their development work | 2016-2017


  • Church of Sweden
  • Norwegian Church Aid
  • Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM)
  • CWR
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
  • University of KwaZulu Natal
  • Paulinum (Namibia)
  • Makumira (Tanzania)
  • United Theological College (UTC) (Zimbabwe)
  • Mission Eine Welt
  • Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)


We work with identified churches through the Department for Mission and Development and with the Department for World Service.

Religion and Development News

25 January 2021
GENEVA, Switzerland
25 January 2021
GENEVA, Switzerland
22 January 2021
21 January 2021
Aszod, Hungary/GENEVA