The Westmont Center for Thriving Communities (WCTC) will invite churches in the Central Coast region of California into fresh exploration of life together — as organizations, as communions of individual followers of Christ, and as members of our universal Christian and human families. WCTC will draw into collaboration three innovative Westmont programs with close ties to Westmont’s ongoing Lilly-supported initiatives: the Center for Social Entrepreneurship, which has helped the Westmont community understand and engage our own local social context; the Westmont Center for Dialogue and Deliberation, which invites individuals and groups to explore complex problems and the shared values that might drive solutions; and the Westmont Decision Lab, which uses the formal economic tools of decision analysis to help churches and other organizations walk through major inflection points in their corporate life. Together, these entities will design and implement a new learning process that can be packaged for use by congregations in the WCTC program and beyond. The program will begin with an initial planning year, followed by four program years, each of which will engage cohorts of eight to 12 congregations drawn diversely from Westmont’s broad constituency of Central Coast churches. Congregational teams will attend quarterly plenary retreats, plan and execute event-based learning processes for their own church communities, and enjoy robust support from Westmont faculty and staff liaisons, student fellows, community partners, the larger WCTC network, and purpose-built digital tools.
Westmont Center for Thriving Communities
Santa Barbara, CA