After a challenging and unprecedented couple of years, the world is reawakening and coming alive once again. Broadway shows are selling out. Fans are gathering to cheer on their favorite sports teams. Blockbuster movies are returning to theaters. And the church is reimagining its work in new ways with a fresh sense of wonder and possibility.
Systems that once served us never served all of us and are now starving for innovation and catalyzing change in the work we all do. The world is changing at a rapid pace and calling us to reimagine everything from the way we shop to the way we educate, from the way we work to the way we worship. And this generation and the next are boldly leading the way.
In 2022, FTE also awakened to new possibilities and began building different types of bridges for diverse young adults and doctoral students exploring different pathways toward ministry and teaching. We designed creative and insightful resources to help them expand their imaginations and explore their next most faithful steps. We also provided opportunities for diverse leaders of the church to make a difference in an ever-evolving world.
Whether it’s offering online courses, accelerating innovation and social entrepreneurship, or developing resources to inspire diverse young adults and students, we believe God is working through FTE to awaken what’s possible in a new generation of Christian leaders, pastors, and theological educators.
A better tomorrow is not possible if we are asleep to what is shifting today in our institutions and industry. We must awaken to what the times now call for. Now is the time to empower the voices of the next generation. Now is the time to invest in leaders at the margins of our faithful efforts. Now is the time to shine a light on Christian leaders stepping boldly into a new day in the most inspiring and beautiful ways.
I invite you to open your eyes and see how a new generation is reimagining this new normal to be a better normal for everyone. I invite you to partner with FTE as we invest in awakening what’s possible in a new generation of diverse ministers, theological educators, and young innovators who will shape a more hopeful future for the church, academy and communities around the world.
prospective and early-stage doctoral students of color enrolled in FTE’s online courses to explore theological education and access support for program completion.
*Data points were derived from evaluations completed by participants.
*Data points were derived from evaluations completed by participants.
young adults received a grant to explore faith communities and to develop a mentor relationship with ministry leaders.
doctoral students of color were awarded fellowships to support their studies with additional coaching, mentoring, and writing resources.
organizations and congregations received financial support to continue discernment practices for young adults.
institutions were awarded grants to expand capacity in youth theology programs.
institutions received grants to recruit and support future scholars of color.
The following resources were designed with church leaders and the academy in mind to help spark inspiration and awaken what’s possible. You will find a variety of helpful tools, motivational stories, and educational assets available to download, listen to, or watch. Use these assets to reimagine the possibilities for the future of your organization and the next generation of church leaders.
Learn how Senator Kim Jackson navigates her roles as state senator and pastor of an Atlanta-area church that exists to be a safe space for the unhoused.5:30 min
Get a glimpse into the journey of the Project Upstream fellows. Learn how Shereetha Jackson empowers those impacted by homelessness to use their stories to create policy change in Atlanta.5:08 min
Be inspired by Nathalie Nelson Parker who leads the National Network for Young Adults. This initiative of the United Methodist Church helps young adults from predominantly Black colleges and universities discern and respond to God’s call.5:00 min
Experience Anton Flores’ leap of faith in developing Casa Alterna, a ministry offering free hospitality, accompaniment, and assistance to individuals and families fighting for asylum against deportation.5:25 min
Journey with Dr. Janet Wolf, a lifelong theologian, social justice activist, and minister, as she recounts the formation of Freedom Seminary, a weeklong intensive designed for theological educators to awaken possibilities surrounding the church, theological education, and public policy.4:32 min
Meet Ryan Bonfiglio and learn about TheoEd Talks, an ecumenical speaker series that brings thought leaders from the church and the academy together to change the way people think about God, religion, and the power of faith to shape communities.4:58 min
Encounter Terence Lester’s story of hope, perseverance, and love in creating Love Beyond Walls to build community, raise awareness, and share the realities of those experiencing homelessness.5:00 min
Lilly Endowment, Inc., Indianapolis, IN
Dr. Matthew Bloom
Ms. Soon Mee Kim
Mr. Larry Stine
Ms. and Mr. Florida and Doug Ellis
Rev. Stephen Lewis
Mr. Paul Bois
Dr. Ernest A. Brooks III
Rev. Aisha Brooks-Johnson
Rev. Darlene Marie Hutto
Dr. Eddie R. Lowry, Jr.
Ms. Andrea Perrett
Ms. Jodi L. Porter
Dr. Patrick B. Reyes
Rev. Dr. Shively T.J. Smith
Dr. James D. Weimer
In honor of Prof. Emerita Jean E. Weimer, RN
Isaacson, Miller, Washington, DC
Three Minute Ministry, Nashville, TN
Mr. Matt Adams
Dr. Christopher Ángel
Ms. Allison Arsenault
Ms. Elsie Barnhart
Revs. Jon and Amanda Bergstrom
Mr. Edward Boone
Dr. Lisa Bowens
In honor of Bishop Walter McKoy
Rev. Dr. Monica A. Coleman
Ms. Kimberly R. Daniel
Rev. Joe Ella Darby
Rev. John Helmiere
Ms. Diva Morgan Hicks
Rev. Dr. John Hoffmeyer and Rev. Dr. Janet M. Corpus
Dr. Nikki Hoskins
Mr. Calvin M. Mew
Mr. Stephen R. and Ms. Juanita E. Moore
Rev. Randy and Joy Nelson
Rev. Raymond Ranker
Ms. Christina Repoley
Rev. Dr. Marcia Y. Riggs
Ms. Melissa Scott
Dr. Phillis Isabella Sheppard
In honor of Hattie Booker Peterson
Ms. Marlene Underwood
Dr. John W. Waters
Drs. Walter and Sharon Watson Fluker
Mr. Marquis White
Rev. Mark D. Williamson
In honor of Mary Halvorson & Dan Garnaas
Ms. Patricia A. Angel
Dr. Adam L. Bond
Ms. Christina Ann Finsel
In honor of Tamara Finsel
Rev. Megan Alyse LeCluyse
Rev. Ross Lockhart
Revs. Laurel and Colin Mathewson
Dr. Jeffrey M. McCurry
The Very Reverend Troy D. Mendez
Dr. Richard A Sundeen, Jr.
In memory of Steve Richardson
Ms. Jenelle Vondrashek
In honor of All Those Who Need Hope and Healing
Ms. Heather B.P. Wallace
Ms. Traci Wright
University of Notre Dame
South Bend, IN
Presbytery of Greater Atlanta
Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer
Omnicom Public Relations Group
Church Planter & Centre for Missional Leadership Associate
St. Andrew’s Hall
Assistant Professor of New Testament
Boston University School of Theology
Wimberly, Lawson, Steckel, Schneider, & Stine, P.C.
Senior Project Manager
Association for Hispanic Theological Education
President & CEO
Children’s Defense Fund