Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) Celebrates Seventy Years of Faith and Exploration

ATLANTA (May 3, 2024) – The Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) marked a milestone on Saturday, April 27, as it celebrated 70 years of shaping the future of the church and academy. More than 45 participants gathered virtually on Friday to honor FTE’s history and achievements.

During the 90-minute commemorative event, FTE welcomed three esteemed FTE Fellows to share their personal stories of inspiration and engagement with the organization. Dr. Emilie Townes, Rev. Tyler Sit, and Dr. Renee K. Harrison offered reflections on the impact of FTE on their lives and its contributions to the church and academy.

Dr. Harrison, who updated FTE's history in the latest publication, "Stones from the Jordan," emphasized the contributions of the early founders and supporters of FTE. Her reflections honored the dedication of everyone who worked to propel FTE's mission and vision forward.

Drawing from his own transformative experiences, Rev. Sit highlighted connections and support he found through FTE, underscoring the organization's role in nurturing emerging leaders and expanding the horizons of ministry.

Dr. Townes, known for her insights and influential contributions to theological discourse, emphasized the power of education in shaping not only individuals but also collective futures within the church and academy. Highlighting the importance of diverse scholarly perspectives, Dr. Townes affirmed, “The gift and genius of scholars of color is that they bring new conversation partners into the enterprise; they give students a different view of who a teacher and mentor can look like”. Her remarks resonate with FTE’s ongoing efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in theological education. 

The anniversary celebration served as a testament to FTE's enduring legacy of empowering emerging leaders, fostering innovation, and shaping the future of Christian ministry and theological education.

About Forum for Theological Exploration 

For seventy years, the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) has been committed to cultivating tomorrow's leaders to be faithful, wise, and courageous for the church and academy. FTE provides resources, events, networks, grants, and fellowships to empower purposeful students, young adults, and partners to explore their passion, purpose, and call. 

For more information, visit

Chrishaun Hoopes