THIS EVENT IS FOR financial resource partners who are interested in learning about and advocating for church-centered, gospel-focused strategies to impact impoverished communities.
Christians around the world are rediscovering the biblical command to "seek the peace and prosperity of the city" (Jeremiah 29:7). But what does this look like in impoverished villages in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and in low-income neighborhoods in North America? Cutting edge strategies of sustainable poverty alleviation are rapidly moving away from bricks and mortar approaches that focused on pouring in material resources towards human-centered approaches that mobilize local people to steward their own resources.
The essential ingredient to making this shift possible is not fewer financial supporters, but different financial supporters. Ultimately, transformation of the village begins with transformation of yourself.
Dr. Brian Fikkert is a Professor of Economics and Community Development and the founder and Executive Director of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College. Dr. Fikkert earned a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University, specializing in international economics and economic development. He has been a consultant to the World Bank and is the author of numerous articles in both academic and popular journals. Prior to coming to Covenant College, he was a professor at the University of Maryland—College Park and a research fellow at the Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector.
Dr. Amy L. Sherman is a Senior Fellow at the Sagamore Institute for Policy Researchand Director of the Center on Faith in Communities at the Foundation for American Renewal. She also serves as the Editorial Director for FASTEN (the Faith and Service Technical Education Network). Dr. Sherman is the author of four books: Reinvigorating Faith in Communities (Hudson Institute, 2002); Restorers of Hope: Reaching the Poor in Your Community with Church-based Ministries That Work(Crossway Books, 1997); The Soul of Development: Biblical Christianity and Economic Transformation in Guatemala(Oxford University Press, 1997); and Preferential Option: A Christian and Neoliberal Strategy for Latin America's Poor(Eerdmans, 1992). Her 70+ articles and essays have appeared in such diverse publications as The Public Interest, Policy Review, First Things, Christianity Today, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The American Enterprise, World,the Christian Century, The Washington Times, Philanthropy, Christian Scholar’s Review, Reason, and Books & Culture.
Dr. Sherman is a leading national expert on charitable choice, an advisor to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and the author of The Charitable Choice Handbook for Ministry Leaders. Dr. Sherman provides on-site consulting services to congregations starting or enhancing their community ministries and is a frequent speaker at training conferences for faith-based practitioners. She is the author of various resource guides for faith leaders, including Establishing a Church-based, Welfare-to-Work Ministry: A Practical How-To Manual and Sharing God’s Heart for the Poor: Meditations for Worship, Prayer, and Service. She has also published the first major study of faith-based intermediary organizations (2002) and the largest national survey of Hispanic church-based community ministries in the U.S. (2003). Currently, Sherman serves as the national coordinator for the ele:Vate (“Economic Literacy Education: Vital Assets for Transformation and Empowerment”) initiative, which serves Christian practitioners working with inner-city youth.
Dr. Sherman is the founder and former Executive Director of Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries (CALM), a holistic, cross-cultural, whole-family, church-based outreach in an urban neighborhood of approximately 380 lower-income, single-parent families. From its Abundant Life Family Center in the heart of the neighborhood, CALM offers educational programs for children, mentoring for teens, and discipleship, education, IDA, and housing programs for adults. Sherman continues on today as an informal advisor to CALM and to Trinity Presbyterian Church, its anchor congregation. She also serves as a Senior Fellow for the International Justice Mission. IJM is a Christian human rights agency that rescues victims of violence, sexual exploitation, slavery, and oppression.
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. Her “life verse” is Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O Man, what is good, and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”
Dr Ravi I. Jayakaran has over 34 years of experience in Poverty reduction and strategic development programs. He works as the Vice President of Global Programs for MAP International (Medical Assistance Programs International www.map.org ). In this role he provides supervisory oversight and Strategic support for all of MAP International’s global programs (in the US and abroad) that cover the distribution of essential medicines and medical supplies valued at around 300+ Million USD a year in over 119 countries, the Relief office that responds with appropriate relief programs to all Global relief situations, the MAP International Transformational Missions program that enables various types of mission teams(high school children, Medical students, Graduate students and Church mission teams) to participate in transformational missions in various developing countries around the world, MAP International country offices in Indonesia, Kenya, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras and more recently Liberia.
Before joining MAP International, Dr Jayakaran was Chief Consultant of Quality Professional Interfaces (QPI-GMS). In this role he was based in Phnom Penh Cambodia , and worked predominantly in the Greater Mekong sub-regional (GMS)Countries, providing consultancy on issues of Participatory development, Poverty reduction, impact of Regional economic integration, HIV-AIDS programs, Street children support programs, Trafficking prevention, Rapid needs assessments, Corporate social responsibility ,Evaluations and capacity building. He has worked providing consultancy to a variety of Regional government organizations in the GMS, the ADB (Asian Development Bank), the UNDP and several International NGOs.
Dr Jayakaran has experience in providing consultancies in over 20 countries in the Asia pacific region and also in Africa and Latin America. He is a prolific writer and has brought out over 18 publications. His latest book ‘Empowering Children’ came out in May 2011. He started his career working in Maharashtra, India, with Magsasay award winner and Mahatma Gandhi’s right hand man – Dr Manibhai Desai-who was the founding Director of Bharatiya Agro-Industries Foundation Ltd. Following this he moved to the state of Bihar, India, where he was the head of the corporate social responsibility wing of the Usha Martin Group of Industries in Tatisilwai, Bihar, India, till 1992, when he joined World Vision International. Dr Jayakaran served with World Vision International in various leadership roles in India, Cambodia, China and the Asia Pacific Region.
Ravi has lived and worked long term in India, Cambodia, China and the United States of America. His wife Vimla completed an assignment as a teacher at the prestigious International school of Phnom Penh, before they moved to the US. They have two sons – Amit & Rohit. Amit has a MS in robotic engineering from UFL and currently works in San Francisco. Rohit, the younger son has a MS in International business from London and a diploma in Drama from London school of Drama and has worked in various radio stations in India as a programme anchor and producer. He is currently based in Dubai as a radio program producer and anchor.
Dr Jayakaran has developed several Participatory development tools including the Holistic Worldview Analysis (HWVA) which is a foundational tool for Holistic transformation development leading to community Empowerment. This is a subject that is very close to his heart and which he has researched extensively.
Ravi and Vimla Jayakaran are currently based in the US and live in Decatur, GA.
Steve Corbett is an Assistant Professor of Community Development at Covenant College and serves as a Community Development Specialist for the Chalmers Center. Previously, Mr. Corbett served as Director of Field Operations and Training for the Chalmers Center. Prior to coming to Covenant College, Steve worked for Food for the Hungry International (FHI) as the Regional Director for Central and South America for two years. Before assuming these responsibilities, he served as the Director of Staff Training for nine years. In this capacity, he participated in the orientation and training of 1500 staff working in 25 countries. Mr. Corbett has a B.A. from Covenant College and a M.Ed. in Adult Education from the University of Georgia.
Rob Martin has been involved in Christian ministry since his conversion in 1976. He first served as the editor of a Christian publication and then for six years with the Orange County Rescue Mission. He left the Rescue Mission in 1983 to become General Manager of Fieldstead & Company, an unincorporated charitable foundation. Later he served as a consultant on communications, leadership and fund-raising issues. This was followed by a brief stint as U.S. Director of the Lausanne Committee before beginning as Executive Director with First Fruit, Inc., a private charitable foundation, in 1990. He served in this position until 2009 when he began a full-time assignment as partner with the First Fruit Institute serving ministries and colleague foundations as a coach on a variety of organizational issues.
Rob also serves with the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization as Senior Associate for Global Philanthropy; as a seminar leader on Fund Raising and Leadership for Mission with Overseas Ministry Study Center; on the faculty of World Evangelical Alliance Leadership Institute; and as the co-executive director of the Lausanne Standards Initiative.
Registration is $350 per person or $500 per couple. Cost includes conference registration, reception on Friday evening, as well as breakfast and lunch on Saturday. Participants are required to book their own hotel rooms.
*For a special group rate of $159/night, please mention 'The Chalmers Center' when making your reservation.
All participants are required to secure Liason International Travel Medical Insurance. Get a quote and purchase a policyat http://www.sevencorners.com/insuranceplans/travelinsurance/
All participants are required to obtain a valid tourist visa for Togo prior to departure. We recommend using an expedited visa service like American Visa of DC.
PLEASE NOTE:The Yellow Fever Vaccine is required to enter Togo. You must get vaccinated and staple your international certificate of vaccination into your passport prior to departure. Most county health departments are equipped to do complete this for you.