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Faith & Settlement Partnerships: Setting Immigrants and Canada Up for Success

The purpose of this two-year project (2016 - 2018) was to study partnerships among faith-based and government-funded settlement organizations. This was done in order to determine how these partnerships can better lead to positive settlement outcomes for newcomers, and ultimately benefit Canadian society.

This project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and built upon past work by CCBR including another SSHRC-funded project entitled "The Role of Churches in Immigrant Settlement and Integration".

Research Team


Project Director

  • Rich Janzen (CCBR)

Project Manager

  • Jessica Dyck (CCBR)

Project Partners

  • Joanna Ochocka (CCBR)

  • Victoria Esses (The University of Western Ontario)

  • Mark Chapman (Tyndale University College & Seminary)

  • Robert Cousins (Tyndale Intercultural Ministry Centre) 

  • Ron Kuipers (Institute for Christian Studies)

  • Ida Kaastra-Mutoigo (World Renew)

  • Jim Cresswell (Ambrose University)

  • Doug Binner (The Salvation Army)

  • Michael Skaljin (Interfaith Council of Peel)

  • Aamna Ashraf (Peel Newcomer Strategy Group)

  • Trisha Scantlebury (Peel Newcomer Strategy Group)

  • Subhi Tarim (Peel Newcomer Strategy Group) 

  • Vera Dodic (Toronto Newcomer Office)

  • Idrisa Pandit (Renison University College)

  • Tara Bedard (Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership)

  • Mohammed Baobaid (Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration)

  • Huda Hussein (London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership)

  • Rebecca Walker (World Renew)

Research Assistants

  • Chris Brnjas (CCBR)

  • Elyas Farooqi (Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration)

  • Héctor Acero Ferrer (Institute for Christian Studies)

  • Sarah Best (Wilfrid Laurier University)

  • Giovanna Heron (Tyndale University College & Seminary)

Background Information

1. To conduct a series of research projects that empirically explore ways in which faith-based and settlement organizations currently collaborate, and could better collaborate, to improve settlement outcomes of newcomers to the benefit of Canadian society.

2.  To pursue a series of knowledge mobilization activities that will inform effective faith/settlement partnerships within policy and practice.

3.  To develop a network of researchers (including students and emerging scholars) as well as faith and settlement leaders that will maximize their synergy in promoting and implementing effective faith/settlement partnerships.


Year 1: Research

During the first year (May 2016 - April 2017), a multi-method research study will be conducted adopting a community-based research approach. The study will be conducted simultaneously in four sites across Southwestern Ontario that provide different dynamics from which to study faith and settlement partnerships: London, Waterloo, Toronto, and Peel.

Research Questions

To what extent are faith/settlement partnerships viewed positively?
What types of partnerships presently exist and how could they be improved?
How can effective partnerships be better facilitated?

Research Activities

Literature review exploring partnerships between faith-based groups & settlement organizations

At least six case studies of promising faith & settlement partnerships across study sites

Online surveys exploring all main research questions, to be distributed to members of participating Local Immigration Partnerships (Peel, Toronto, Waterloo, London Middlesex)

Year 2: Knowledge Mobilization

In year two (May 2017 - May 2018), partners will share learnings that emerged from the research study. Three sets of activities will be undertaken in order to do so:

Ongoing partnership communication and development

Year 2 knowledge products (e.g., individual method reports, cross-method and cross-site report, short briefs)

Year 2 knowledge exchange (e.g., local open forums, national roundtable discussions)

Workshop Resources 

Workshop Facilitator's Guide

           Facilitator's Guide Webinar 

Workshop Guide slides 




Literature Review Summary

This summary highlights overarching themes of an international literature review on partnerships between faith groups and government-funded settlement agencies.

Annotated Bibliography

This annotated bibliography collates the main ideas from academic and non-academic articles related to the vision, structures, and processes of faith and settlement partnerships.

Organizational Survey Summary Report

This report summarizes the results of an online survey of organizations within Toronto, Peel Region, London, and Waterloo Region highlighting their on-the-ground perspectives about faith and settlement partnerships within their communities.

Local Case Study Reports

The Salvation Army (Toronto, Waterloo & London)

This report features partnerships between one Christian denomination (The Salvation Army) and local settlement service providers in Waterloo Region, London, and Toronto. 

Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration (London)

This report features a partnership between a culturally-based community service agency (Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support & Integration) and a government funded settlement agency (London Cross Cultural Learner Centre).

Muslim Social Services (Waterloo)

This report features partnerships that the Muslim Social Services of Kitchener Waterloo (MSS) has developed with other local settlement agencies.

Peel Newcomer Strategy Group (Peel) 

This report features a partnership between two inter-agency networks; Interfaith Council and the Peel Newcomer Strategy Group (the Local Immigration Partnership in Peel Region).

World Renew (Toronto) 

This report features a partnership between World Renew (a refugee Sponsorship Agreement Holder within the Christian Reformed Church) and other local refugee resettlement service providers.

Tyndale Intercultural Ministry (TIM) Centre (Toronto) 

This report features how a capacity building centre (TIM), housed within Tyndale University & Seminary, encourages partnerships between evangelical churches and local settlement service providers.

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary gives an overview of the findings from this project's research. 

Project Reports
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