Theological Foundation

Theological Foundation

Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide and to making adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat is founded on the conviction that every man, woman, and child should have a simple, decent, affordable place
to live in dignity and in safety.

Habitat has an open-door policy: all who desire to be a part of this work are welcome, regardless of religious preference or background. Habitat for Humanity has always had a policy of building with people in need regardless of race or religion, and we welcome volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds.

The work of Habitat for Humanity is driven by the desire to give tangible expression to the love of God through the work of eliminating poverty housing. Habitat's mission and methods are predominantly derived from a few key theological concepts: the necessity of putting faith into action, the "economics of Jesus" and the "theology of the hammer."

Putting Faith Into Action

Habitat's ministry is based on the conviction that to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ we must reflect Christ's love in our own lives by loving and caring for one another. Our love must not be words only – it must be true love, which shows itself in action. Habitat provides an opportunity for people to put their faith and love into action, bringing diverse groups of people together to make affordable housing and better communities a reality for everyone.

The Economics of Jesus

When people act in response to human need, giving what they have without seeking profit or interest, we believe God magnifies the effects of our efforts. Habitat refers to this perspective as "the economics of Jesus." Together, the donated labor of construction volunteers, the support of partner organizations and the homeowners' "sweat equity" make Habitat's house-building possible. By sharing resources with those in need, Habitat volunteers and supporters have made decent, affordable housing a reality for more than 125,000 families worldwide.

The Theology of the Hammer

Habitat is a partnership founded on common ground – bridging theological differences by putting love into action. Everyone can use the hammer as an instrument to manifest God's love. Habitat Founder and former President Millard Fuller calls this concept "the theology of the hammer," explaining, "we may disagree on all sorts of other things... but we can agree on the idea of building homes with God's people in need, and in doing so using biblical economics: no profit and no interest."

Habitat for Humanity welcomes all people to build with us in partnership. "The Bible teaches that God is the God of the whole crowd," explains Fuller. "God's love leaves nobody out, and my love should not either. This understanding drives 'the theology of the hammer' around the world, steadily building more and more houses in more and more countries."