In the spirit of the relationship between Stillman College and the Christian Church, this program proposes a five-year plan for 15 traditional African American congregations in central Alabama. These churches will represent three denominations: the Presbyterian Church U.S.A, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. This plan will take each congregation collectively and individually through the three phases of recognizing their changing social and cultural context, clarifying their values and mission, and cultivating appropriate Christian practices for the sake of transformation and vitality. These churches represent a unique witness here in the Deep South. They have combined educational achievement and sacrificial service for decades, for the greater good of their congregants and their communities. Yet, the new realities of this cultural moment present complicated challenges and require creative adaptation. To facilitate the necessary assessment and adaptability, the College's plan will be executed in consultation with the Center of Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary and the Office of Vital Congregations for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). We believe this work is critical for our Christian witness in central Alabama.
Stillman College Initiative for Thriving Congregations