The effects of poverty on education have been a topic of discussion for generations. Extensive research has been conducted that seeks to determine the link between children born into low-socioeconomic (SES) communities and their capacity to achieve academically. Both educational and governmental entities have sought to provide resolutions to what some have called a social epidemic. Not only have proposed solutions been offered by the government, but the religious community has served low-SES families. Whether through providing food and/or housing assistance, life skills training, or tutorial programs, numerous pastors and congregations recognize the necessity to serve the underprivileged, particularly when many churches are in or nearby impoverished neighborhoods. While churches who serve low-SES families must be commended, this article suggests that Scripture offers a biblical mandate, which outlines how Christians must view our role in the lives of the poor; for congregations whose objective is educational enrichment to poverty-stricken areas, this author advocates for and describes how ancillary programs can integrate educational methodologies into their instruction.
Dena Moss Moten, Ed.D. has been an educator for 20 years with a focus on students living in low socioeconomic communities. She also teaches and trains women in the area of spiritual growth.