Implementation of this project will allow Perkins to extend the breadth and depth of its mission by capturing the current catalyst of testimony in this COVID-19 moment -- people telling stories about God’s presence in their lives -- and embedding it into the life-giving pulse and practice of 30 congregations within a 250-mile radius of Dallas. These congregations will represent a wide range of denominations, such as African Methodist Episcopal Church, Church of the Nazarene, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Episcopal Church, Evangelical Covenant Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Institutional Baptist Church, Presbyterian Church USA, and UMC (inclusive of congregations consisting of predominantly Caucasian, Black, Hispanic and Native American members) as well as the Roman Catholic Church. Congregations accepted into the cohorts (10 per year for three years) will receive individualized training in Testimony as Community Engagement through participation in four learning communities spanning concentric circles: 1) within each congregation, 2) with the same-year cohort congregations, 3) with year 2-5 cohort congregations, and 4) with the Perkins/SMU community. We also will launch an internationally recognized Certificate of Congregational Vitality and revitalize the Perkins Center for Congregational Vitality.
Testimony as Community Engagement