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Creating a better future for communities through research

Welcoming Churches: Responding to the Immigrant Reality in Canada

At the heart of this research project was a shared vision of Canadian churches where recent immigrants are fully welcomed and included. The study was conducted together with the Tyndale Intercultural Ministries Centre (TIM Centre) and World Vision Canada. It focused on churches across Christian denominations and in cities across Canada.

Project purpose

This study's purpose was to help us understand how churches are responding to the immigrant reality in Canada. More importantly, it gave ideas about what churches could do to better welcome and include recent immigrants in their church life.

Study scope and sites

The study had a national scope with additional in-depth information gathered from five sites: Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg and Vancouver. These sites were selected because of their large immigrant populations and the presence of World Vision programs. In 2006, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver were home to nearly two-thirds of Canada's immigrants (Statistics Canada, 2006).

Study partners

World Vision Canada (WV) was the lead organization for this project and the project funder. 

Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR) was responsible for carrying out all research related tasks with support from other partners

Tyndale Intercultural Ministry Centre was the site lead within Toronto and Hamilton.

Study methods

This project used a participatory action research approach to answer the research questions. This exploratory research used both quantitative and qualitative methods. Main methods included: literature review, focus group interviews, key informant interviews, and an on-line survey for churches in eleven cities with high immigrant populations.

Community forums

Community forums were held in four cities (Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton and Vancouver) in September of 2010. The forums provided an opportunity for research findings to be presented and discussed by forum participants. Participation was open to all, including church leaders (Canadian-born and immigrant) interested in figuring out how better to support each other in reaching out to and welcoming recent immigrants.

Poster Presentation

This poster was created for the 15th Anniversary Community-Campus Partnerships for Health Conference in Houston, Texas in 2012. Click on the image to see the details.

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Contact

Rich Janzen (rich@communitybasedresearch.ca) for more information.

Beyond the Welcome

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Short Research Report

Full Research Report

Resource Toolkit

Toronto Report

Congregational Assessment

Preliminary bibliography

Project advisory committee members

Community Forums

Hamilton  September 13, 2010

Toronto September 14, 2010

Montreal  September 21, 2010 Plus de d├ętails

Vancouver September 28, 2010

"We need to see ourselves and our own understanding of God's future with the eyes of Christians from other cultures, listen to the voices of Christians from other cultures so as to make sure that the voice of our culture has not drowned out the voice of Jesus Christ."

Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and embrace: A theological exploration of identity, otherness, and reconciliation, 1996, p. 54