Our History

Founded 1999

The Chalmers Center was founded in 1999 by Dr. Brian Fikkert. We are named after Thomas Chalmers, a 19th-century Scottish pastor who was convinced that the local church needed to take a more active role in ministering to the poor in both word and deed.

Research Begins 2000

Chalmers began as a research branch of the Department of Economics and Community Development at Covenant College. Brian, along with his colleagues at Covenant, focused on training churches and development workers throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America in biblically-integrated microfinance strategies.

Training Development 2008

By 2008, more and more churches in the United States were requesting training in the basic principles of church-centered poverty alleviation. In response, Brian and Steve Corbett, Chalmers’ Community Development Specialist, began writing When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself

Book 2009

When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself. The book was published in 2009, and by the grace of God, has sold more than 460,000 copies since.

Independent 2010

Chalmers became an independent non-profit in 2010. Though no longer attached to Covenant, Chalmers continues to enjoy a strong relationship with the college.

Present

Today, Chalmers continues to shape the way churches and ministries think about poverty.