Our Faithful Next Steps Toward a Hybrid Future

Stephen Lewis

FTE President

Three years ago, FTE could not have imagined the impact of the global pandemic on our lives and work. We all have witnessed our families, friends, neighbors, and colleagues leaning on one another, reaching into the deepest reservoirs of our faith, and responding with all the resiliency we can muster to the many challenges at hand.

While the world is changing at a rapid pace, we are called to faithfully reimagine our way forward with a fresh sense of wonder and possibility. A better tomorrow is possible but it is up to all of us to shape and co-create the future we long for. But to do so, we must acknowledge that our communities will not be what they once were.

Holding close a sense of wonder and possibility, you will see once again now and in the coming months FTE shifting and evolving in order to respond to the moment, be fiscally responsible, and align its work with current realities.

While we remain firm in our missional commitment to inspire a new generation of Christian leaders, pastors, and theological educators who will boldly lead our communities, the way our team works to meet the needs of today and FTE’s constituents will shift. Current economic realities require FTE to proactively respond, re-imagine and co-create with God amidst persistent challenges in a changing landscape. Our small, but mighty team will transition roles or responsibilities to be more nimble and prepare for a hybrid future—working, gathering, connecting and building community with constituents both digitally and face-to-face to accompany young adults and doctoral students in their vocational discernment and pursuits.

I remain excited and hopeful about the possibilities for the church, academy, and faith communities amidst difficult transitions in an ever-evolving world. And, I look forward to ways FTE and the team will continue to respond to what the times call of us and of our historical, enduring work to cultivate a new generation of diverse ministers, theological educators, and young innovators who will shape and build a more hopeful future.

I invite you to subscribe to FTE’s email or join our new online community FTE Leaders on the Mighty Networks platform to stay up-to-date on exciting announcements, access upcoming new resources, and connect with like-minded peers and inspiring Christian leaders.