The Romero Leadership Project is a Study-work Project of the Poverty Initiative's Poverty Scholars Program.

I am glad, brothers and sisters, that our church is persecuted precisely for its preferential option for the poor and for trying to become incarnate in the interests of the poor, and for saying to all the people, to rulers, to the rich and powerful: If you do not become poor, if you do not concern yourselves for the poverty of our people as though they were your own family, you will not be able to save society.
-Monseñor Oscar Romero, July 15, 1979

A church that doesn’t provoke any crisis,
A gospel that doesn’t unsettle,
A word of God that doesn’t get under anyone’s skin,
A word of God that doesn’t touch the real sin
Of the society in which it is being proclaimed,
What gospel is that?

-Monseñor Oscar Romero, April 16, 1978

Objective of the Oscar Romero Leadership Project

We seek to help develop the role of faith, religion, and churches in the movement to end poverty, led by the poor. We study in-depth Oscar Romero and the Christian Base Communities in order to respond to the concrete challenges arising in Poverty Scholar organizations and churches in the uniting social movement.

Work Plan 2011-2012


Develop close relationships with leaders of Poverty Scholar Organizations and churches whose central concerns and challenges regarding faith, religious, church, and religious leadership in the uniting social movement will guide the Romero Leadership Project’s work this year.


Study in-depth the Christian base communities


A. Produce a Central Document and/or Creative Expressions articulating Who was Romero? and Why is Romero Important today?, which is a summary of last year’s work and the basis for future work

B. Develop Curriculum Materials for leadership development to be used in:

  • Romero Chapel, March 22
  • Class at Columbia School for Social Work: "Faith, Leadership, and the Movement to End Poverty", Mar 28
  • Religion and Faith Strategy Institute with Media Mobilizing Project and other members of the Philadelphia Statewide Organizing Coalition
  • Class at Union Theological Seminary on Faith-based Organizing, Summer 2012
  • Class at Union Theological Seminary “Reading the Bible Politically”, Fall 2012
  • New Testament Roman Empire Conference, Fall 2012
  • Immersion to El Salvador, Jan 2013

C. Develop a Communications Strategy for sharing Romero Project materials and curriculum online, and which will work toward being a part of the online University of the Poor