Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Arthur B. Gunlicks

Second Advisor

Dr. John W. Outland


Churches and church agencies have always been involved in American public and political life. These involvements exhibited cooperation and common interest. An example of this includes the combined efforts to help European refugees following World War II.

Since then, churches have challenged their partnership with government. Sensitivity to Third World issues, theologies of liberation, ideologies of oppression, and the values malaise brought on by the Vietnam War separated some interests of American churches and their government. What would churches do when confronted with an American foreign policy they considered immoral and oppressive?

The hypotheses of Robert Sullivan and Jorgen Lissner and the history of Sandinista Nicaragua intersect and form a case study. Rather than disband the Church/State partnership in light of increasing value incongruities (Sullivan), I contend that the pluralistic influences affecting the modern church agency encourage the partnership to remain and evolve in spite of the incongruities (Lissner).