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Interfaith Cooperative Ministries records

Call Number: RG 255

Scope and Contents

This collection provides valuable documentation of ecumenical activities in the New Haven area, the development of social service agencies for the homeless, poor, disenfranchised, and elderly, and religious advocacy for social justice between 1970 and 2015. The role of religious organizations in the establishment of social service agencies and efforts to effect social change is documented in a detailed way. It is likely that these archives provide historical documentation of various New Haven agencies and programs that does not exist elsewhere. The waning of the influence of mainline religious communities and of the ecumenical impulse in general is reflected in the devolution of the ICM, leading to its dissolution in 2015. The amount and completeness of records varies over the years as some of the Coordinators in charge of the DCM/ICM operations were better recordkeepers than others. There is a considerable gap in documentation for the years 1998-2004.


  • 1969-2015


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Interfaith Cooperative Ministries, Inc., 2015.


  1. I. History of Organizations
  2. II. Board and Committee Records
  3. III. Correspondence and Reports
  4. IV. Program Documentation
  5. V. Publications / Publicity
  6. VI. Financial Records


7 Linear Feet (17 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


These are the official archives of Interfaith Cooperative Ministries, Inc., an organization established as Downtown Cooperative Ministry, Inc. in the early 1970s in New Haven, Connecticut. It was an ecumenical organization that sought to build relationships between churches, support the development of social service agencies and programs, and encourage involvement in local, state, and national social justice issues.

Biographical / Historical

The Downtown Cooperative Ministry, Inc. (DCM) evolved in the late 1960s and early 1970s from the New Haven Council of Churches. According to a 1970 "Statement of Purpose" the organization sought "To be agents of human empowerment to the disenfranchised in the New Haven area under a theological discipline." DCM approached this mission of empowerment through efforts to build relationships between the several churches, participation and support for the development of social service agencies and programs, and direct involvement in local, state and national justice issues. Agencies and programs for which the DCM provided support include the Columbus House overnight shelter for the homeless in New Haven, the Community Soup Kitchen, Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen and FISH of Greater New Haven for food support, the Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund for housing issues, Sage Services and Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers for support particularly of the elderly, Citizens for Humanizing Criminal Justice, and Connecticut Interfaith Budget Watch.

In 1995, DCM broadened its mission and membership to serve the greater New Haven area and became Interfaith Cooperative Ministries, Inc. Jewish and Muslim communities became members and joined the effort.

In 2015, the ICM membership agreed that it was time to dissolve the organization due to waning interest from its members. Many of the social service agencies that DCM/ICM fostered continue to thrive.
Guide to the Interfaith Cooperative Ministries Records
Compiled by Martha Lund Smalley
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Yale Divinity Library Repository

409 Prospect Street
New Haven CT 06511 US
(203) 432-5301

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