A Message from
FTE President, Stephen Lewis

In a rapidly changing world, how can we best equip architects tasked with building a better future?

As the economic and social impact of the global pandemic persists, FTE is envisioning the future with a renewed sense of wonder and opportunity. We have witnessed families, friends, neighbors, and colleagues leaning on one another, reaching into the deepest reservoirs of their faith, and responding to many new challenges at hand with all the resiliency they can muster.

A brighter tomorrow is within reach, but it's our collective responsibility, as architects for a better future, to shape and co-create the future we desire. To do so, we must first acknowledge that our way of life, communities, and structures won't remain as they are.

Over the last year, FTE has taken stock of the ways in which it meets the current and future needs of its constituents. We have shifted our focus, resources, and strategies accordingly. Whether it's by reimagining our processes, right sizing our staff, or reinforcing our online presence, we have broken old structures down to the building blocks and examined them in order to determine how and where they fit into the better future we are building.

While we remain firm in our commitment to inspire a new generation of diverse, Christian leaders, pastors, and theological educators who will boldly lead our institutions and communities, FTE is adapting and evolving to respond to the current moment, maintain fiscal responsibility, and align its work with present and future realities.

We know that nothing embodies the power of the human spirit like our ability to hold a sense of wonder and possibility. By staying agile and dreaming what may seem impossible, we all can become architects who build a better future in imaginable new ways.

I am excited about the church, academy, and faith communities' potential future, even as we navigate challenging transitions in an ever-evolving world. I welcome your partnership in our enduring commitment to cultivating a new generation of diverse ministers, theological educators, and young innovators who will shape and build a better future.

FTE President


As any architect or designer knows, there are complex steps to take between vision and reality. In 2023, FTE asked the question: what will it take to move from imagining a better future to building it for ourselves, our families, and our communities? We found the answers to that question to be creativity, adaptability, and courage. And so, we allowed ourselves the freedom to discuss creative solutions to new challenges and to adapt to an ever-changing reality. We courageously took steps we could have never imagined before and began building a better future for FTE, our faith communities, and the young leaders we serve.


Together, we are building a better future by inspiring young leaders to discern their next most faithful step

Young Adults

joined peers to explore their purpose during discernment retreats.


engaged in deep reflection during online courses, brainstorming ways to make a positive impact through campus ministry, innovative leadership, social entrepreneurship and service.

Doctoral Students

enrolled in an online course full of resources to jumpstart their doctoral journey.


joined a community of advanced scholars of color for support and mentorship in the completion of their programs.


participated in a retreat focused on scholarly writing and publishing.

Young Christian Innovators

faith-based entrepreneurs took part in the DO GOOD X Startup Accelerator by designing and pitching a business idea focused on making a positive impact on their community.


Strengthened faith leaders to foster bold leadership in the next generation


learned about FTE practices and their efficacy in helping diverse young people explore their purpose and to Co-CREATE a better future.


collaborated with peers in congregational and college settings to learn how to support young adults in their discernment journeys.


gathered to discuss ideas for better engagement with high school youth and students at Christian universities.


academic leaders came together to brainstorm ways to support scholars of color as a network.


faculty of color explored executive leadership in the academic world through an online course.


Supporting Christian communities and young leaders in their vocational journeys

Young Leaders

young adults received grants to explore faith communities and establish mentor relationships with ministry leaders.


doctoral students of color were granted fellowships and received mentoring to help them succeed in graduate school and in teaching.


Christian entrepreneurs received awards to launch projects designed to have a positive impact on their communities.

Faith Communities

congregational and college leaders received financial support to develop programs that encourage young adults to explore their callings.


institutions were awarded grants to enhance their ability to guide youth in their search for purpose and calling.


Christian leaders received grants to identify gifted young adults for ministry roles.

Equipping dreamers and builders
through the years…

Since 1954, nearly 5,500 FTE Fellows have received financial support and joined a community to explore a calling to ministry and teaching.

Since 2014, FTE has inspired and ushered 1,412 young adults and 406 doctoral students through forums, mentorship, online courses, fellowships, and grants.

Over seven years, 47 Christian entrepreneurs and innovators gained resources and connected with peers to jumpstart businesses that create positive change.


Sound of the Genuine

In 2023, FTE’s podcast published 12 episodes, earning nearly 11,000 all-time downloads. These episodes delve into topics like purpose, meaning, and the journey of church and academy leaders. Our most popular episodes include:


In 2023, FTE launched a new online network uniting 560 young adults and faith leaders in all stages of discernment. Mighty Networks is a carefully crafted space for like-minded individuals to collaborate, connect, and grow. By joining FTE Leaders on Mighty Networks you can build meaningful connections and broaden your ideas about ministry.

Exclusive workshops in Mighty Networks featured:



2023 Statement of Financial
Activities (Unaudited)


FTE is primarily funded through foundational grants, investment income from those grants, and contributions from the FTE community.




Program Personnel



Administrative Personnel















Other Program Costs




Total $5,251,568


FTE's ability to build a better future is only achievable thanks to the support of our generous donors and our extraordinary community. Through the ongoing generosity of those who share our mission and vision, we can channel resources into faith communities, theological institutions, and the emerging architects for a better future. If you've found inspiration in our dedication to and investment in future faith leaders, we humbly ask that you consider contributing to FTE. Your donation will help us expand our influence as we collaboratively build a better future for both the church and our communities.

Presidential Partners $10,000+

Lilly Endowment, Inc. Indianapolis, IN

Leadership Partners $1,000-$4,999

Soon Mee Kim
Stephen Lewis
Theodore L. Lockhart (Rev. Ted), in memory of Rev. Joe Brown Love

Sustainer $500–$999

Andrea Perrett
Caroline Charles-May
Dr. James Weimer
Eddie Lowry, Jr.
Ernest Brooks
Shively Smith
Paul Bois
Darlene Hutto
Jordan Lassiter

Sponsors $100–$499

Dr. Emilie Townes
Emmanuel Lartey, in memory of Katie Cannon
Jennifer Ikoma-Motzko
Jon and Amanda Bergstrom
Randy and Joy Nelson
Richard and Patricia Angel
Sharon Watson-Fluker
Christina Repoley
Diva Hicks
Joe Ella Darby
Melissa Scott
Raymond Ranker
Edward Boone
Dr. Monica A. Coleman
John Helmiere
Heather and Jamie Wallace
Elsie Barnhart
Kimberly Daniel
Patrick Reyes
Adam Bond
Dr. Christopher Angel
The Reverend Drs. Stephens and Carol Lytch
Allison Arsenault
Marlene Q. Underwood
Marquis White

Supporters < $100

Matthew Adams
Doug Black
Kenneth Theriault
Rich Sundeen, in memory of Stephen Richardson
Colin Mathewson
Heather Wallace
John Hershberger


Dr. Matthew Bloom, Trustee

Research Professor
University of Notre Dame
South Bend, IN

Rev. Ernest A. Brooks III, Trustee

Isaacson, Miller
Washington, DC

Rev. Aisha Brooks-Johnson, Trustee

Executive Presbyter
Presbytery of Greater Atlanta
Atlanta, GA

Rev. John Helmiere, Trustee

Author, Consultant
Seattle, WA

Ms. Soon Mee Kim, Secretary/Treasurer

Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer
Omnicom Public Relations Group
Atlanta, GA

Rev. Andrea Perrett, Trustee

Church Planter & Centre for Missional
Leadership Associate
St. Andrew’s Hall
Vancouver, BC

Rev. Dr. Shively T. J. Smith, Vice Chair

Assistant Professor of New Testament
Boston University School of Theology
Boston, MA

Mr. J. Larry Stine, Trustee

Senior Principal Wimberly, Lawson, Steckel, Schneider, & Stine, P.C.
Atlanta, GA

Rev. Dr. Starsky D. Wilson, Chair

President & CEO
Children’s Defense Fund
Washington, DC

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