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Parachurch organizations are Christianfaith-based organizations that work outside and across denominations to engage in social welfare and evangelism. Parachurch organizations seek to come alongside the church and specialize in things that individual churches may not be able to specialize in by themselves. They often cross denominational and national boundaries providing specialized services and training.
Evangelical parachurch organizations proliferated as a byproduct of the fundamentalist-modernist controversy. As modernist views penetrated mainline churches, those with more fundamentalist views who elected to stay reached across denominational boundaries for opportunities for Christian fellowship and outreach. While most parachurch organizations involved in social work operated in a collaborative mode, those engaged in evangelistic and discipleship ministries, particularly on college campuses, have at times been in fierce competition. Seeking to resolve such issues, Campus Crusade for Christ, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the Navigators, and Young Life signed the "Trail West Agreement," pledging mutual respect. The agreement was renewed in 2010 with thirteen additional signers as the "Chicago Agreement."