Shaw University Divinity School will establish a transformative leadership initiative for North Carolina Black Baptist congregations on the changing religious landscape of the Christian Church and ways to enhance congregational vitality for effective ministry in their communities. This new program will transfer knowledge to the larger Baptist community. The Black Church Leadership Initiative will promote thriving and flourishing congregations by engaging a representative cohort of Black Baptist Church congregations in North Carolina. The clear goals and objectives are to work directly with Black Baptist congregations in the state to gain a better understanding of the social, cultural, and economic changes in urban and rural settings as a lens through which to develop strategies and tools to build resources for ministry. The Initiative will focus on congregational laity, along with pastors, district moderators, Divinity School students, and denominational leaders on subjects of ecclesiology in the Black Baptist Church tradition, spiritual formation, technology, mission, discernment, social justice, and support the development of a thriving congregation in their unique context. This initiative will also aid Black Baptist congregations to explore and understand the changing social and cultural contexts; gain greater clarity about their values and mission; and reclaim the unique theological commitments, traditions, and practices of Black Baptist Churches. Through a critical engagement with a cohort of congregations, the Initiative will help equip and train leaders in congregations to strengthen ministries and foster stronger relationships with God and others in a changing world.
Black Church Leadership Initiative