Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Anthropology

First Advisor

Dean J. Saitta, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Alejandro Cerón, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Richard Clemmer-Smith, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Sarah Pessin, Ph.D.


Applied anthropology, Community center, Converted churches, Multiculturalism, Multifaith, Urban planning


Global patterns of human displacement and migration are diversifying the user base of urban churches. This change produces new settings of cross-cultural encounter and adaptation of social space. This study examines the transition of a Lutheran church into a multifaith and multicultural community center. In Aurora, Colorado, a majority-minority city, the facility offers vital support for immigrants, refugees, and low-income community members while maintaining links with [previous] congregants. Using ethnographic methods, I explore the cultural dimensions of repurposed space for a diverse constituency. Discussed herein are the ways in which the physical space is interpreted, how contention and divergent experiences aid in the construction of shared-space, and the place of commonality in a diverse setting. Using these findings, this paper offers suggestions and strategies for accommodating religious and social diversity in globalizing cities.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Kassandra Irene Soppas Neiss


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

169 p.


Cultural anthropology, Urban planning