Stephen Lewis

Recent Entries


What is our next most faithful step?

Members of our staff gathered on Thursday morning after the election to check in with each other. Our collective experience during this presidential election cycle and the shocking results this week were deeply upsetting for many. After allowing space to acknowledge our feelings, fears, and facts, we turned to think together about what this moment means for our shared work.

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November 11, 2016


Pentecost: A Time for Change

When was the last time you changed something that has had a lasting impact on the larger community? In light of the circumstances we find in our country and communities, how does real change, sustainable change happen?

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May 23, 2016


What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?

This is the question the advent of another year raises for many people as Christians pause to reflect on the previous year and welcome the epiphanies of God regarding the year to come.

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January 06, 2016


The Hope of Now

When we look at the world around us, between us and in us being strangled by loss and violence, it’s easy for our hearts to be shattered pieces on the ground of despair. It’s easier to fill our mouths with empty words of faith, hope and irrelevant idealism.

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December 23, 2015


A Resolution for Religion

With the advent of every year, we gain a fresh start or a new perspective on where we are, where we have been or perhaps what fills us with hope to begin. The beginning of each year provides Christians an opportunity to reflect and discover God’s epiphanies in their lives, communities of faith and through their witness in the world.

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January 13, 2015


The Church Knows Something

Sixty years ago, FTE emerged during a segregated era. Twenty days later the United States Supreme Court ruled segregation in public schools and universities unconstitutional, provoking civil unrest throughout the country.

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December 23, 2014


Lead Differently

“Here’s to the crazy ones…The ones who see things differently…People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” Seventeen years ago these provocative words captured the attention of the public and persuaded many to think different about Apple.

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July 14, 2014


Celebrating a Birthday or Celebrating the Birth of an Idea

It was a cool Tuesday morning. With no technology to navigate the way, they moved briskly through New York City’s morning traffic. The destination: 30 Rockefeller Plaza. With nervous energy, 12 Christian leaders, pastors and educators gathered in Room 5600 to give birth to an idea.

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April 27, 2014


Inside FTE’s New Name

Though the meaning behind the acronym has slightly changed, we will continue to go by FTE, which is the endearing term used by our friends, Fellows, partners and Alumni. The word “fund” doesn’t adequately capture the fullness of our work.

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January 03, 2014


12 Reasons to be Thankful

As this year comes to a close, we are grateful for FTE’s Alumni, friends and partners who have helped us discern FTE’s next faithful steps toward God’s unfolding future. We appreciate the many ways that you have prayed and supported FTE during this season of transition and anticipation.

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December 20, 2013


Changes to FTE’s Fellowship Programs

In my last announcement, I shared that FTE will adapt and shift from being a fellowship supporting organization to a leadership incubator.

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September 27, 2013


What Are We Now Called To Become?

Does God call organizations or only individuals? Do callings invite us to change and adapt while the world changes around us? I believe so. During this past year, FTE has been discerning what God is calling it to become in the midst of new economic realities and changes within the academy, church and society. We paused most of our fellowship activities to determine what’s needed now and how FTE is being called to cultivate a new generation of leaders for the church and academy.

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September 16, 2013


The Power of Diversity

What if I told you that diversity will be an important and coveted asset to solving problems in the future? That if the church and academy do not value or leverage diversity today they will diminish the quality of their future and relevance? Would you agree or disagree?

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June 25, 2013


Responding to New Possibilities

When was the last time you turned on your mobile device and saw that all is well and good in the world? Were you satisfied with what you saw? Were you like me and asked how is the church, with other partners, addressing big issues we face as a community, nation and world?

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April 04, 2013


What’s Next

I wrote you earlier this fall regarding FTE’s strategic planning and one-year review of the Fellowships programs, with the exception of the Volunteers Exploring Vocation (VEV) Fellowship. As we prepare for the season of Advent, I am grateful for the great work FTE has done through 2012 with young leaders, and anticipate the next steps FTE will take in 2013 as we discern how the organization might best support and cultivate diverse young people to be faithful, wise and courageous leaders for the church and the academy.

This discernment period invites us to engage in conversations – lots of conversations. FTE will spend time next year talking to partners doing complementary work, faculty of theological institutions, church leaders and FTE Alumni, like you, and others…

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November 29, 2012


Looking Forward

In 2014, FTE will celebrate its 60th anniversary. In a time of great economic uncertainty and significant shifts in theological education and the broader church, this anniversary represents an important milestone in the life of our organization. During the last six decades, FTE has given approximately 7,000 fellowships to young adults who now represent some of the most important religious voices in North America and leaders within denominational bodies, congregations and theological institutions.

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September 05, 2012


Happy New Year!

I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and that you are preparing for an exciting new year.

What is God’s revelation in you or your organization? As God’s beloved, how will you appear to the world? On the dawn of a new year, these are two questions I am wrestling with on behalf of The Fund for Theological Education (FTE).

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December 31, 2011


Leadership Capacities Every Young Pastor Must Learn

For the last few years, I have been working with young pastors on leadership formation issues through Project Rising Sun, a pastoral leadership academy. Based on my work with these leaders, I have distilled seven key leadership capacities young pastors need to develop in order to thrive in ministry.

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September 14, 2010


Cultivating Quality Leadership for a Sustainable Church

The ability as a church to gather together and serve the community in creative ways depends on leadership. It depends on an intergenerational conversation that captures the imagination of gifted young leaders among us who feel called to serve the church. For North Carolina churches and communities—for the entire church—quality leadership is the foundation for vital and sustainable Christian institutions. It’s about thriving, not just surviving.

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December 02, 2009