Drawing from social movement and organization theories, data from an in-depth comparative analysis of three faith-based community development organizations (FBCDOs) in the United States are examined as a form of cooperative collective action. The diagnostic, prognostic, and motivational frames produced by each organization, and the role these frames play in developing and maintaining relationships with the state, are detailed. These collective action frames (1) link sectarian religious values to broad community development goals, and (2) do not fundamentally challenge the prevailing economic and political systems. Empirically, the findings clarify important issues and dynamics related to emerging movements, the modern welfare state, and church-state relations by specifying how values, beliefs, and structural location shape the actions of FBCDOs engaged in state-sponsored religious social service provision. Theoretically, it demonstrates the utility of more precise analytical distinctions between types of collective action and suggests new directions for research on movements for change.

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