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The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University

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Project Name: Fostering Thriving Congregations

The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University educates an overwhelming majority of the seminary-trained African American clergy in our region and is well-situated to develop and implement the Fostering Thriving Congregations initiative designed to enhance the vitality of these congregations. Our long and deep ties to the church, particularly historically African American churches, coupled with the trusted reputation of the School of Theology, provide a solid foundation upon which to build an impactful program that is contextualized in local churches, supported by judicatories like the Baptist General Convention of Virginia, and responsive to the prophet’s call to “…let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream (Amos 5:24 NRSV).” The School of Theology and our church partners recognize that, in some faith communities, these waters continue to flow while in others mere trickles remain due to a variety of theological shifts and socio-economic factors that have left some congregations focusing on exclusive individual materialism devoid of justice, and others committed to political justice void of mandates for authentic holiness. We will equip several hundred predominantly African American congregations regionally and nationally over five years through a series of intensive learning experiences in cohort groups to sharpen the clarity of their missions, expand understanding of and engagement with their changing contexts and communities, deepen the Christian practices that form and feed them, and enhance resourcefulness through partnerships.  

Location: Richmond, VA
geographic scope: National
Contact Information
Contact: Denise Janssen