Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Brown, Laurel


The focus for this research project was to explore the development of human trafficking mercy ministries within South Coast Presbytery. South Coast Presbytery consists of 21 churches belonging to the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), a Christian denomination with member churches throughout the United States. The study was conducted following a constructivist paradigm with a PCA church belonging to South Coast Presbytery to determine the role of the church and the presbytery in addressing human trafficking through the development of mercy ministries. Interviews were conducted with 11 church members. Five major themes emerged from analysis of the interviews: 1) Effects of the existence of human trafficking on participants; 2) The role of the church/presbytery in addressing human trafficking; 3) Service provision to victims of human trafficking; 4) Partnerships with outside agencies; and 5) Ministry development in South Coast Presbytery. An action plan was developed based on the following subthemes: raising awareness, teaming up, the need for specialists, and the need for oversight. The action plan includes the following: the development of a presentation to raise awareness, plans to visit each church of South Coast Presbytery to promote a shared vision, and building a database of available church resources to link with needs identified by service providers in the community.