Charting a Course – with Auburn Seminary

In October of 2017, Auburn Seminary and The BTS co-convened a remarkable two-day multi-faith conversation in New York City. An invitation was extended to leaders from various faith traditions to gather at Auburn Seminary to envision ways in which our organizations might collaboratively support progressive leaders doing extraordinary work.

We are living in a time of great upheaval and transformation, both in our religious communities and the larger society. A critical question is: how will we respond? Both of our organizations believe that disruption creates opportunity, and that religious leaders have an extraordinary opportunity to establish new and impactful ways of being in community, working for justice, and promoting spiritual growth. We believe that both the opportunities and challenges of this moment transcend our particular traditions, and that religious leaders have much to learn from and offer to each other across those traditions.

Based on these convictions, a diverse group of fourteen leaders – Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities from all over the country – who have exceptional capability, who are in positions of leadership in worshipping/practicing congregations, and who have proven deep commitment to progressive religious values were brought together in New York City for this conversation.

A second gathering is planned in November of 2018 in the San Francisco Bay area, to continue to explore how we might most helpfully build regional and national networks of diverse pastors and faith leaders deeply connected to each other and to a generative cohort of wise elders. The goal of this exploration and creating space for these connections is to equip pastors and other emerging leaders with the prophetic imagination, networks of mentorship, and on-going support they need to lead effectively in the face of rapidly changing contexts of ministry today.

Rev. Jim Gertmenian, one of The BTS Center trustees, has been a key part of the planning team for these first two events. The Center is grateful to Jim for his passion and time in representing our organization and supporting this evolving collaboration with Auburn Seminary.