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Dark Moments Call for Faithful Leaders

The events over the past several days following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are the result of anger, grief, and trauma from the injustices and violence Black people have endured for hundreds of years.

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By: Stephen Lewis June 02, 2020


Update on Summer/Fall 2020 Gatherings

Due to ongoing concerns about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), FTE has decided to postpone all in-person gatherings scheduled for this summer and fall. This was not an easy decision to make, however, we are prioritizing the health and well-being of our event attendees, staff, and loved ones. We will continue to monitor and follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other health experts when planning future events.

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By: Stephen Lewis June 01, 2020


Partners in Possiblity

Just days after our daily lives shifted dramatically with the COVID-19 crisis, FTE virtually convened the first Community of Practice Cohort. In light of the massive changes that had taken place over the course of the previous three days, I started the meeting asking two questions:

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By: Christina Repoley May 29, 2020


A Reason to Celebrate

Party favors, friends and family, cake and ice cream, cameras, and candles to make a wish are essential items for most birthday celebrations. What I loved most about birthdays growing up was the ritual of it all. And I looked forward to celebrating with friends and family one of the most important moments in their lives—the day they were born. Why? Because birthdays provide us an opportunity to remember and celebrate our gifts and purpose.

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By: Stephen Lewis April 27, 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


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


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


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


Why Social Entrepreneurship Should Matter to Faith Leaders

What makes a social entrepreneur? Someone who challenges cultural perceptions about the dis-enfranchised and the displaced? A leader who upsets binaries that erase the genius we might otherwise see in one another? A change-agent who looks at surrounding culture, sniffs out creative vitality, and follows that which resembles “good news for the poor”?

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By: Dori Baker May 22, 2017


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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By: Stephen Lewis November 11, 2016


What Role do Faith Communities have in Shaping Public Life?

Can faith communities create space for conversation about the policies that shape our collective future? Can we do so in ways that invite civility rather than divisiveness? We gathered with those questions the morning after the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. In a room overlooking the U.S. Capitol, FTE hosted a Community Forum on Faith and Politics.

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By: Dori Baker October 10, 2016


Survival in the Lily Fields: FTE Doctoral Fellowships

A flower farmer went out to his lily fields to see how they were growing. He looked over his acreage and saw the lilies swaying in the wind. He thought to himself, “What a beautiful field of lilies.” He saw out in the corner of his fields a small rose rising just above the rest of the lilies. He marched over to pull the colorful rose from the ground.

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By: Patrick B. Reyes October 04, 2016


Faith & Politics: Conversations Leading to Action

I’ll never forget June 27, 2013. It was my first date with my now husband, John. We went to a local Italian restaurant and sat outside on the patio that was lined with white, twinkling Christmas lights. The sun was setting just over the Atlanta city skyline and it was a perfect atmosphere for a first date.

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By: Diva Morgan Hicks September 16, 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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By: Stephen Lewis May 23, 2016


Behind the Doctorate

I explored theology for one reason: Christians had saved my life. From the Christian Brothers, who took the time to be fully present with me during times of deep pain and sadness, which I hinted at in my last postpat, to Grandma Reyes, a devout Mexican Catholic, who held all the pains and joys of our incredible family, I was formed by those who had deep theological convictions.

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By: Patrick B. Reyes April 19, 2016

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