Diana Garland and associates of Baylor University established the Center for Family and Community Ministries (CFCM) in September, 1998 at Baylor University, Waco, Texas. Garland and associates sought to enable congregations across the United States for effective ministries with families in order to strengthen families and their communities, and to increase their capacity for nurturing faith, through the ministry of congregations.
Working in partnership with the Center for Congregations and Family Ministries at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Garland and associates developed several distinct components for CFCM.
(1) A conference was held annually for three years which brought together family ministry leaders from congregations, denominational agencies, community ministries, and social service organizations. These annual conferences focused on research and theory dissemination, program development and continuing education with reference to family ministries.
(2) CFCM provided consultations and technical assistance for denominational and congregational leaders to serve in turn as consultants in family ministries for congregations. A sub-component dealt specifically with Hispanic families and communities around Waco, Texas and adjoining areas. This component also provided technical assistance to congregations and denominational agencies through short-term and extended consultations in order to develop family ministries within congregations.
(3) In collaboration with the Center for Congregations and Family Ministries at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, CFCM established a family ministry network of churches, denomination and faith-based agencies involved in family ministries of congregations.
(4) Research and Theory development component initiated and supported scholarly studies in family ministries by faculty members and graduate students in a number of institutions of higher learning.
(5) Church Social Work Research Project brought together a network of church social work scholars in order to define and strengthen the knowledge base of social work practice in faith communities and religious organizations.
(6) CFCM disseminated information related to its activities through the Journal of Family Ministry; it also published as resources for family ministries audio tapes featuring ideas, people, and recent publications in family ministries. The Center has a website, www3.
(7)CFCM initiated a joint M. Div. and M. S. W. program at Truett Seminary, a M. S. W. program and a D. Min. Program in family ministries at Baylor University.
During the course of its establishment over a three-year period, CFCM director Diana Garland authored Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide (IVP, 1999), & Sacred Stories of Ordinary Families: Living the Faith in Daily Life (Jossey-Bass, 2003), among other journal articles and publications. The ongoing work of CFCM is featured on its website: http://www3.baylor.edu/CFCM.