Boston University School of Theology
This project explores what it means for urban congregations to thrive in the midst of collective trauma. As ministers increasingly find themselves as first-responders and their churches as safety-nets to trauma, this project equips them to consider this work in light of their congregational mission. This program is organized to assist urban congregations in developing models of trauma-responsive care that are deeply integrated into the mission of their congregations and that draw from the organic resources of congregational life. Fifteen congregations in three major cities -- Boston, Atlanta, and San Diego -- will undertake a process of examining their congregational life through a framework of trauma that integrates psychologically oriented research about trauma with theologically grounded analysis of what it means to live faithfully in the midst of trauma. An educational team composed of theological, clinical, and community chaplaincy educators has joined congregational task forces to form a collaborative learning network that generates theologically robust and innovative responses to trauma. Through various stages of education, mentoring, and on-site conversations, participants design projects that guide their communities in exploring their mission with greater attunement to the trauma impacting churches, both internally and externally.