It is projectCURATE’s mission to create a more just society by working with churches, the academy, and the wider community to support robust civic engagement that inspires social change. In view of this mission, projectCURATE has designed innovative learning and network building processes that develop the transformative capacity of congregational leaders in churches and communities to address issues of injustice and inequity amid a time of increased racial tension, complexity, and change. Its leaders approach the current project with the conviction that there is a vital need for North American churches to think within, between, and, in some cases, beyond traditional frameworks to reimagine a public ministry for the common good. Using a cohort model, CURATE is convening about 150 pastoral and lay leaders over five years. Cohorts are made up of congregational learning teams intentionally chosen to represent a diversity of different Christian traditions and social locations. From 2020-2025, cohorts participate in an intensive 12-month relationship-building and social engagement experience as a group through bi-annual leadership retreats, workshops exploring social change strategies, congregational consulting, and opportunities to participate in special events and learning labs -- immersive learning experiences aimed at understanding specific issues through engagement with local community and civic leaders. At the end of each cohort year, CURATE hosts a regional gathering that allows congregations to share stories and allows the project to extend the network of learning with regional partner organizations. In the final year, CURATE will host a conference titled "Thriving Communities, Thriving Congregations" that will allow the project to share its culminative learnings even further, with the aim of promoting mutual dialogue and learning between national networks of academics, clergy, activists, and local community members on how to more effectively work towards the common good. CURATE's hope is that congregational leaders will be equipped to imagine how churches can contribute in innovative ways to the common good while creating more hospitable, prophetic, equitable, adaptive, and inclusive communities of faith that can bring these visions to reality.
Building Transformative Congregational Leaders