Original Research - Special Collection: Faith Based Organisations

Leveraging social capital of the church for development: A case study of a farming community in Wellington

Jacques W. Beukes
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 4 | a5528 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i4.5528 | © 2019 Jacques W. Beukes | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 2019 | Published: 14 November 2019

About the author(s)

Jacques W. Beukes, Department of Theology and Ministry, Hugenote Kollege, Cape Town Department of Practical Theology and Missiology, Faculty of Theology, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


This article explores how a farming community in Wellington (Bovlei) moved from dependence towards an empowered community through non-profit organisations’ (NPOs) transformative community development initiatives, undertaken together with the church’s social capital. This example serves as the backdrop to explore critical viewpoints by various scholars who are critical about how the church engages in an unequal and unjust society. The critical questions that remain are the following; who is the church?, what is the church’s role as a change agent? and how should churches leverage social capital for development? Although various definitions have been given in conceptualising the church and its role in society, through this article, the author engages with the social capital theory in understanding how the transformation came about in this community by describing the churches’ involvement through a case study.


Social capital; Church; Development; Community; Faith-based organisations


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Crossref Citations

1. Diaconia and Development: The Study of Religious Social Practice as Lead Discipline in the Religion and Development Debate
Philipp Öhlmann
Religions  vol: 14  issue: 8  first page: 1032  year: 2023  
doi: 10.3390/rel14081032