The BTS Center invites Letters of Inquiry for its 2018 – 2019 Innovation Incubator program, which supports Cairn and Compass Projects that map the contours of today’s religious and spiritual landscapes, mark creative paths for navigating them, and explore new ideas and insights for nurturing exceptional leadership in contemporary faith communities. Up to $70,000 will be awarded for the 2018 – 2019 funding cycle.
The BTS Center’s Innovation Incubator Awards $70,000 to Support Transformative Projects in Religion, Spirituality, Practical Theology, and Ministry
Portland, Maine. April 4, 2017. The BTS Center’s blog, Bearings: Navigating Life-as-Ministry, has – for the second year in a row – won multiple DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards of Excellence from the Religion Communicators Council (RCC), a national interfaith association of religion communicators at work in print and electronic communication, marketing, and public relations. Through the DeRose-Hinkhouse awards program, the RCC “recognizes the achievements of RCC members who demonstrate excellence as religion communicators.” (more…)
In his latest piece for Faith and Leadership, “A Move to Part-Time Clergy Sparks Innovation in Congregations,” Innovation Incubator Award recipient G. Jeffrey MacDonald describes three models for part-time clergy leadership:
- Pastor as equipper of laypeople (rather than provider of services)
- Pastor as ambassador
- Pastor as team member
He ends the article with crucial questions that should be addressed by every church undergoing the transition from full-time clergy leadership to other models of ministry management.
Sometimes, the switch to a part-time pastorate “turns out to be a blessing.” Just ask the folks at St. Columba Church, outside of Seattle, who discussed their experiences in the article “Full Hearted Ministry.” Published in The Living Church, the piece was penned by G. Jeffrey MacDonald, an Innovation Incubator Award recipient. It highlighted his BTS Center-funded research.
Last June, The BTS Center awarded journalist-pastor Jeffrey MacDonald an Innovation Incubator award to research church vitality. When Jeff visited congregations with part-time clergy (or no ordained clergy at all), he often discovered energetic, creative faith communities that offer counter-narratives to prevailing tales of church death and decline. We’re proud to announce that The Christian Science Monitor recently featured Jeff’s work in its February 6, 2017 cover story, “America’s New Ministers.”
The BTS Center invites Letters of Inquiry for its 2017 – 2018 Innovation Incubator program, which supports Cairn and Compass Projects that map the contours of today’s religious and spiritual landscapes, mark creative paths for navigating them, and explore new ideas and insights for nurturing exceptional leadership in contemporary faith communities. Up to $70,000 will be awarded for the 2017 – 2018 funding cycle.
Letters of Inquiry for The Second Grant Cycle Due by January 27, 2017
The BTS Center has announced the application schedule for its 2017 – 2018 Innovation Incubator. Due dates will be as follows, with additional information available on the Innovation Incubator webpage:
January 27, 2017: Initial Letters of Inquiry Due
February 24, 2017: Invitations to the Full Application Cycle Are Sent Out
March 31, 2017: Full Applications Due
End of April 2017: Applicants Notified about Funding Decisions
CONVOCATION2017 – “COURSE CORRECTIONS” – WILL EXPLORE CREATIVE RESPONSES TO SPIRITUAL DISRUPTION
January 23-24, 2017. This winter, The BTS Center will continue a century-old tradition of bringing together nationally-recognized speakers to share ideas and perspectives about contemporary spiritual and religious concerns. Convocation 2017 – “Course Corrections” – will provide participants with opportunities to make meaning of the changes that are transforming 21st-century spiritual and religious landscapes.
“Spiritual Stories for a Wired World” is an online learning opportunity with Dr. Elizabeth Drescher – Santa Clara University professor, author, consulting scholar for The BTS Center, and co-editor of Bearings: Navigating Life-as-Ministry. The course will help faith leaders develop more resonant and engaging public voices through blogs, local news outlets, social media, and other communication platforms.
April 1, 2016
NEW YORK – The BTS Center’s blog, Bearings: Navigating Life-as-Ministry, has won two DeRose-Hinkhouse Awards of Excellence from the Religion Communicators Council (RCC), a national interfaith association of religion communicators at work in print and electronic communication, marketing, and public relations.
CONVOCATION2016 – LIFE AS ART: DESIGN THINKING AND MINDFULNESS FOR INTEGRATING LIFE AND MINISTRY (JANUARY 25 – 26, 2016)
Design Thinking and Mindfulness have taken the business and social sectors by storm. From making an iPhone, to designing worship, to renovating your kid’s bedroom, design thinking lays out the process of moving from dream to deliverable. But you can work a process and fail to be present, which is where mindful contemplation comes in. There are specific habits that can equip creative individuals from all sectors of the community to more mindfully engage the creative process.
Book Tour Event
August 16: An Evening of Music and Conversation (Portland, ME)
“If I do this, then God will do that.”
CONVOCATION2016: “LIFE AS ART” (JANUARY 25 TO 26)
The BTS Center is excited to announce that Alyssa Lodewick has been chosen to serve as Associate Director of The BTS Center beginning September 15. The selection committee was impressed with her breadth of education and work experiences, and her expertise in areas relevant to the mission of The Center, including educational administration, professional development, community organizing, and institutional advancement. She also has technological and communication skills we were seeking in the Associate Director.
Pamela Shellberg, Ph.D. has been appointed Scholar-in-Residence to help us develop Converging Paths: the Path of Paul, as well as participate in overall program design and implementation for the Center. Dr. Shellberg was the Assistant Professor of New Testament Studies at BTS from 2009 until our closure in 2013. Pam has a deep knowledge of scripture, curriculum and course design, online learning, and educational assessment. She is an exceptional teacher, and has spoken of teaching as “a vocation to which I have been called,” in which “my primary task was to create experiences where students could flourish, participate in community, be supported in their process of vocational discernment, and to glimpse in themselves and in each other the image of God.” It is this vision that makes her so well suited for this position.
Elizabeth Drescher, Ph.D., a trusted companion and advisor during our transition, will be a Consulting Scholar in the coming year. Her work as a journalist and a scholar in contemporary American religion and spirituality places her in conversations with a network of other scholars, writers, and practitioners. Elizabeth will help expand a sense of cutting-edge relevance and intellectual substance – which we want to be a part of all the conversations of The BTS Center – through her blogging and articles. She will also advise us about new ideas and practices within the church. Dr. Drescher is a faculty member in religious studies and pastoral ministries at Santa Clara University in California. She has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards for the study of spirituality in everyday life.