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God has Left the Building

Recently a friend asked, “How’s the ‘God business’?” I wittily replied with a play on an Elvis catchphrase, “God has left the building.”

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By: Anton Flores-Maisonet March 30, 2020

Dancing in the Midst of Complexity

Last week I had the privilege to facilitate a cohort of amazing women for an Inaugural Thriving in Ministry retreat in Pine Mountain, GA. During this time, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic status for COVID-19.

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By: Darlene Hutto March 24, 2020

Upcoming Events: FTE’s Response to COVID-19

We have been carefully monitoring the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and are taking necessary and proactive measures to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone involved in our community. The growing concerns across our country and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other health experts have guided our decision to prioritize the safety of the FTE staff, event participants, partners, and stakeholders.

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By: Stephen Lewis March 12, 2020

An Opportunity for Social Entrepreneurs

In FTE’s work with Christian leaders and young adults, there has been a growing desire to move beyond the walls of churches and classrooms to address the issues our communities face. Leaders—students, professors, doctors, and pastors—have discovered that they have been formed to do much-needed work focused on social impact in such a time as this.

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By: Kimberly Daniel February 04, 2020

Design for the Future Leaders of the Church and the Academy

Design is about meaning and purpose. Design is about calling and vocation. Design is taking seriously our own agency, power, and responsibility to create the conditions for future generations to thrive.

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By: Patrick B. Reyes January 28, 2020

Introducing A New Vision for FTE’s Vocation Network

Over the years, FTE has awarded grants and convened many organizational and institutional partners accompanying young adults in vocational exploration in service to the church, the academy and the world. We have discovered that the process of building learning communities involves strengthening relationships and intentionally designing an experience in which partners journey together around a common commitment to cultivating leaders for the church and academy.

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By: Christina Repoley January 24, 2020

Redesigning FTE Once Again

During the past three years, FTE has taken time to discern our next faithful steps in response to continuous changes in the church, academy, and broader society. We have been exploring a new strategic direction and questions necessary to advance our historic mission.

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By: Stephen Lewis January 22, 2020

Not Just Another New Year

With the advent of a new year, we look for the kind of leadership that will inspire us to take on new resolutions as we begin another year. But this isn’t just another new year.

This year represents another turning point in history given the looming challenges in our nation’s political, justice, educational and food systems that we can no longer ignore. 2020 marks the beginning of a new decade filled with longings stirring deep within us concerning ourselves and the world. It’s a pivotal year in need of visionary leaders—cultural imagineers, social designers, priestly activists, prophetic artists and repairers of justice—to give shape to this new moment in our history.

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By: Stephen Lewis January 06, 2020

A Legacy of Leadership

During the 2019 annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature FTE celebrated another year of scholarship and honored the work of Matthew Wesley Williams. After 15 years of service at FTE, Matthew pursued a call to serve as the interim president at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta. FTE’s online communications manager Diva Morgan Hicks sat down with Matthew to capture some of his proudest memories and hopes for the future.

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By: Diva Morgan Hicks November 25, 2019

Discernment and Disability

As a disabled woman, the decision to attend graduate school was not an easy one for me to make. My undergraduate academic experience was rocky, to say the least; my then-misunderstood disability complicated my ability to be fully present to my academic work, and by the time I scraped together the academic credits I needed to graduate, I promised myself that I would never put myself through school again.

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By: Allison Connelly August 21, 2019

Seven Tips for Writing a Solid Grant Application

As FTE’s program manager for grant initiatives, I’m always excited to hear from folks who are interested in proposing grant projects to work with young adults as they discern who and where God is calling them to be in their lives and in their vocations. I often get asked, “Does FTE have a formula or set way of doing an internship or mentoring project?” The answer is NO.

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By: Heather B.P. Wallace August 01, 2019

What we see and hear on Sunday morning

We are all too familiar with Sunday morning small talk.

“How are you doing Beverly?,” asks the pastor. Beverly is a long-time parishioner who volunteers for the flower guild and teaches Sunday School.

I’m fine pastor,” said Beverly. “Thank you for asking!”

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By: Alexis Chase May 30, 2019

Navigating My Doctoral Journey: What’s Theological Education For Anyway?

At a recent academic conference I attended, a keynote speaker presented research on the faith journeys of young adults in their twenties and thirties. According to the speaker’s findings, a substantial number of participants reported leaving the Christian faith after struggling with the exclusionary implications of their church’s theologies. For many, the departure from the communities that formed them so deeply at one point in their lives was a complete break from Christianity itself. Listening to the stories these young adults shared touched a raw place in my heart.

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By: Easten Law May 13, 2019

Future of Theological Education

In FTE’s video celebrating 50 years of doctoral fellowships, Rev. Dr. Gregory C. Ellison II, reminds us of the importance of the work of scholars of color. He states that in 1968, “we needed scholars of color to live boldly in that moment.” The images in the video remind us of the many events of that year: the death of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Juan Carlos and Tommie Smith lifting their black-gloved fists at the Olympics in Mexico, and César Chávez leading the UFW and his first spiritual fast. During that same year, we remember there were only 18 doctoral students of color in religion.

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By: Patrick B. Reyes April 02, 2019

Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon - In Her Own Words

The loss of a life well lived can give rise to good grief. Over the past week, while pained and saddened by the passing of Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, the FTE community has paused to reflect with deep gratitude on the tremendous legacy she leaves. In both seemingly small gestures and grand strides Dr. Cannon’s teaching, mentoring, and ministry helped us remember how to be human, how to be the family of God. Sometimes good grief sends us into the picture albums, shoeboxes, and scrapbooks that enable us to tell ourselves the story of the love that will endure beyond the grave.

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By: Matthew Wesley Williams August 17, 2018


This past year has been a roller coaster of questions, reflection, doubts, and fears. After spending my whole life thinking I knew what I wanted to be in this world, I decided I had been wrong. I was not called to a life of practicing medicine. When I made that decision, I voiced it aloud to various groups I belong to, including my campus ministry, which voiced affirmations and support, making me feel secure in my decision.

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By: Zoie Sheets July 27, 2018

FTE Remembers Rev. Dr. James H. Cone

Today we grieve the loss of Rev. Dr. James H. Cone, a Bill & Judith Moyers Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary. He was a friend and mentor to many in the FTE community and will be missed dearly. On behalf of FTE, I offer our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Cone’s family, friends, and colleagues.

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By: Matthew Wesley Williams May 07, 2018

Notes from further down the path: Checking in with the Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis

With her vibrant congregation, new Doctor of Ministry project, successful social media presence, and network news experience, the Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis is a living inspiration to which many Ph.D. candidates might aspire. But Lewis’ vocational trajectory has twists and even obstacles that many on a doctoral journey might find familiar.

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By: Erica Ramirez April 17, 2018

Oh the places we will go…to write

Literary great Virginia Woolf once described her desire for a room of her own, a place to write and think in peace. I agree with her wholeheartedly. Having the time and space to write are so important. However, writing time seems to be the first to be eliminated from any busy academic’s schedule. More often than not, we must be intentional about protecting both. We have to make time to write and have a physical space for writing. Carving out time and better yet, reclaiming our writing time is crucial.

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By: Lauren Frances Guerra March 23, 2018

Five Influential People You Meet in Grad School

It has been said that we are a combination of the five people we spend the most time with. I grew up with a dicho or saying in Spanish that goes: “Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres.” Translation: “Tell me who you walk with and I will tell you who you are.” Who we surround ourselves with speaks volumes about our character. I find this to be especially true in academia because academia often fosters competition over collaboration. For this reason, discernment and learning to identify who has your best interest at heart is important.

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By: Lauren Frances Guerra January 26, 2018

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