The Ministry in the City HUB provides invitational one-year grants ranging from $5-$25,000 to support the work of doing, thinking about, and connecting together around ministry in cities across North America.
Grants are awarded up to twice a year. Grantees attend three meetings in a cohort-based learning community as well as optional informal networking events and resource workshops.
Grant Categories (invitational)
These grants provide support for urban pastors, churches, faith-based community organizations, and theological institutions to share resources, ideas, and practices for life-giving ministry in cities across North America. The HUB serves generations of leaders concerned with the future of Christian faith and congregational life in our cities.
Strengthening Ministerial Formation and Church Life for Ministry in the City (Fall 2022)
The Ministry in the City HUB aims to support communities, institutes, churches and seminaries in strengthening their capacity for forming pastoral and church leaders for ministry in cities. This initiative involves seminaries, theological institutions, and churches and intends to help communities and institutions:
1. explore and assess their own urban context and church life;
2. gain clarity about their mission and programmatic offerings; and
3. strengthen and support the design and implementation of plans to address key challenges and opportunities for pastoral formation and flourishing congregations in urban settings.
Read more here.
Affinity Working Groups (Winter 2023)
The Ministry in the City HUB aims to support communities, churches, and seminaries in
strengthening their capacity for forming leaders for ministry in cities. This Affinity
Working Group initiative will provide time and space for HUB learning network
members to engage in focused ways with others interested in a similar topic and
questions around ministry in the city.
We anticipate working group members to:
- Explore, deepen, and assess their own vocation, urban context, and church life;
- gain clarity about vital questions and issues in a particular focus area (eg. youth, arts, etc), especially in light of the Covid pandemic, and
- learn from group members’ lived experiences and other sources of knowledge and
Read more here.
Collaborative Seed Grants (Winter 2023)
The Collaborative Seed Grant initiative of the Ministry in the City HUB invites artists,
pastors, youth workers, churches, and/or faith-based organizations to partner together
on a seed or start-up project that integrates the arts or a creative practice with ministry
and community. This is an opportunity to try something new with partners that you may not have previously been able to work with. We anticipate this proposal will bring together at minimum two partners to collaborate and do the following:
- explore and assess their own urban context and church life;
- design a new, or expand an existing, project that brings together creative arts, faith,
and community within and beyond the church context; and
- learn from and with each other how collaborative ministry can sharpen and enrich
possibilities of transformation and impact in the church and community.
Read more here.
Grant Project Descriptions
Rev. Ronnie Farmer, Real Community Covenant Church (Marion, IN) 2020-21; 2021-22
Design for Cultural Exchange and Racial Reconciliation Among Children
2020-21: This project will help shape the racial consciousness of children and youth in a way that would orient them toward loving their neighbor rightly. The project is also a call to churches in their community to a new or renewed sense of commitment to racial reconciliation, and a way to create spaces for cultural exchange within its preschool between children and leaders of color by providing a teaching opportunity for an immigrant or Native Spanish Speaker.
2021-22: This project will continue work to help shape the racial consciousness of children and youth in a way that would orient them toward loving their neighbor rightly. This is a renewal grant.
Rev. Kelly Fassett, Unite Boston (Boston, MA) 2020-21; 2021-22
Building Capacity for UniteBoston’s Bridge-Building Work
2020-21: UniteBoston will work on a capacity-building initiative to fund a part-time administrative staff person and a dialogue across difference training. For the past ten years, UniteBoston’s united worship events, website, and neighborhood dinners have brought together Christians across historic divisions of race, denomination, and generation.
2021-22: UniteBoston will continue work in a capacity-building initiative to fund a part-time administrative staff person and a dialogue across difference training. This is a renewal grant.
Sarah Gautier, Living Stones Church (Boston, MA) 2022-23
Esperanza Collab project will provide access to holistic wellness coaching to young Latines. Through coaching, Esperanza collab will equip young Latines to live well in mind, body, and spirit. The main goals of this project are to support young Latines to develop comfort in understanding their sense of identity, calling, and purpose, Collaborate on a youth-led creative project to amplify the message of holistic wellness for the community and Build capacity for ongoing holistic wellness coaching with young Latines.
Gabriela Hernandez, Church of Our Savior (New York, NY) 2021-22
Cafe con Cristo with Youth
Church of Our Savior in Bronx, New York, served by the Yarumal Missionaries, a Catholic Mission Society from Colombia, South America. Their project is aimed at youth in the parish community with the main goal to improve the spiritual, cultural, and lifelong community formation of youth. They have a vision of helping the local parish community and broadening the worldview of young people in the parish to increase awareness towards those who are less fortunate in North America and beyond through “Cafe con Cristo.”
Anthony Hunt, Epworth Chapel United Methodist (Baltimore, MD) 2022-23
Hope for the City: Transforming Urban Leaders
“Hope for the City: Transforming Urban Leaders” is a transformational leadership development training process and model to be held in Baltimore, Maryland. Hope for the City: Transforming Urban Leaders would be ecumenical in scope and initially focus on training ministry and nonprofit leaders currently serving in Baltimore city. As the model is fully developed and implemented, it is hoped that it could be replicated and scaled to train and develop transformational leaders serving in ministry in other cities.
Rev. Christopher Lawrence, Novo Mission (Harlem, NY) 2021-22
InnerCHANGE East Harlem
InnerCHANGE East Harlem NYC was launched in January 2019 by a family who had relocated from England back in 2014. The team is committed to Jesus-centered companionship alongside those struggling with the tough challenges of loneliness, loss of direction, isolation, and poor health. This project focuses on 284 residents of a public housing apartment building, Gaylord White Houses (GWH) in New York’s East Harlem neighborhood. The grant will be allocated to building relationships with Seniors at GWH to provide support, healthy activities and learning opportunities as well as constructing a new garden to serve as a space for community building.
Erika Lee, Women of Wonder! (New York, NY) 2022-23
Cultivating Presence for Deeply Rooted Spiritual Transformation
Women of Wonder! (WOW!) exists to grow a community that walks alongside women to uncover and affirm their God-given calling through prayer, teaching, and celebration. The goal of this project is to promote pathways to care and connection in relation to sustaining healthy leaders in the urban ministry contexts participants feel called to.
Rev. Dr. Kyuboem Lee with Dr. Susan Baker, Missio Seminary (Philadelphia, PA) 2021-22
Adaptive Urban Mission in Philadelphia After 2020
For many years, Missio Theological Seminary has sought to educate practitioners in ministry research and development, and now it seeks to gain a deeper understanding of the changed context of Philadelphia and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Missio will conduct colloquia and focus groups, as well as facilitate a program of research associates. The outcome of the project will be published in a special edition of the on-line Journal of Urban Mission at the end of 2022.
Dr. David Leong, Seattle Pacific Seminary (Seattle, WA) 2020-21; 2022-23
Urban Ministry Leadership Development
2020-21: This project aims to develop a graduate student leadership cohort at Seattle Pacific Seminary focused on urban ministry, local community engagement, and theological education in the city. This project will connect a small group of emerging leaders at Seattle Pacific Seminary to community leaders in the city of Seattle in a transformative way that would give students a broader vision for both theological education in general and urban ministry in particular.
2022-23: This project aims to deepen the work of a graduate student leadership cohort at Seattle Pacific Seminary focused on urban ministry, local community engagement, and theological education in the city. This project will connect a small group of emerging leaders at Seattle Pacific Seminary to community leaders in the city of Seattle in a transformative way that would give students a broader vision for both theological education in general and urban ministry in particular. For this renewal grant period, the goal will be to build on the momentum of the 2021 cohort and explore next steps for leadership development that would strengthen the urban ministry emphasis in the MA-RIS and further cultivate relational networks in the city of Seattle. This is a renewal grant.
Michael Mata, First Church of the Nazarene (Los Angeles, CA)
The Arts as Transformational Ministry
The Arts as Transformational Ministry is a 12-month project that will introduce, generate an appreciation and facilitate skill development in a range of creative activities for members from the different congregations and the community. ATM seeks to first strengthen the bonds between the five congregations that are part of Los Angeles First Church of the Nazarene, —namely the English-speaking congregation (primarily 1st and 2nd generation immigrants), Spanish-speaking congregation (primarily 1st and 2nd generation Latinx), South Korean and North Korean congregations (languages differences between the two) and a Filipino congregation — and thus with the community that is connected through the various “outreach” programs (sports, food pantry, academic tutoring, etc.) of the congregations.
Oluwatoyin Omolola, DSI International (New York, NY) 2020-21; 2021-22
The Timothy Project
2020-21: “The Timothy Project” is aimed at enhancing leadership and advocacy skills in African immigrant youth in multi-generational and multicultural/mixed status homes. Based in Brooklyn, NY, but implemented across the city, this project will empower participants to see the links between “calling” in ministry and serving in community as other ways of fulfilling ministry rather than the notion of standing behind the pews, which is the common understanding in these communities.
2021-22: “The Timothy Project” is aimed at enhancing leadership and advocacy skills in African immigrant youth in multi-generational and multicultural/mixed status homes. For this renewal grant period, the goal is to try a different format (summer session) for the program, and to work towards capacity building for the future. This is a renewal grant.
Debra Ortiz-Vasquez, Esperanza Health Center (Philadelphia, PA) 2020-21
Community Greater than COVID (Community > COVID) Initiative
This project aims to leverage partnerships between Esperanza Health Center (EHC), a faith-based health-clinic serving the North Philadelphia community, and local churches, faith-based ministries, and other non-profits for community-driven advocacy and education around COVID-19 precautions, testing and quarantining, and the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Hosffman Ospino, Boston College (Boston, MA) 2020-21; 2021-22
Prophetic Ministerial Leadership and Creative Responses to COVID-19 Challenges in Inner-City Catholic Parishes with Hispanic Ministry
2020-21: This is a study that will take the pulse of the impact of COVID-19 on Catholic parishes with Hispanic Ministry in select inner-city contexts throughout the United States. The grant supports this research project on prophetic ministerial leadership and creative responses to COVID-19, and the impact on Hispanic ministry.
2021-22: This renewal grant funds the continuation of the research begun in 2021.
Lorena Parrish, Wesley Theological Seminary (Washington, DC) 2022-23
Innovation-Focused Urban Ministry Immersions
Wesley Theological Seminary’s Community Engagement Institute Human-Center, Innovation-Focused Urban Ministry Immersions. This initiative entails having students engage in three mini-immersions; one each in the metropolitan areas of Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Maryland, and New York City during the course of their studies in urban ministry and community engagement. A culminating two- and one- half-day urban ministry colloquy in which seminarians and faith leaders from the three cities would share their experiences and knowledge with other invited practitioners would also be part of the program design. The goal of the initiative is to foster the development of innovative, effective, and human-centered ministry practices among the current and next generation of urban church leaders.
Agustin Quiles, Mission Talk (Orlando, FL) 2021-22
Mission Talk Performing Arts and Justice Initiative
Mission Talk is a Latino network of community practitioners that seeks to transform marginalized communities through justice education, community organizing and advocacy. Their project, a performing arts initiative, will be a vehicle to introduce their work in local churches and mobilize young people to get involved in their own communities. Through the performing arts, Mission Talk will provoke additional conversations in schools, colleges and in faith-based communities that shy away from social causes. They hope to engage the faith communities in the city to take a more active role in civic engagement and social justice.
Rev. Barry Randolph, Church of the Messiah (Detroit, MI) 2022-23
BLVD Harambee Project
The word B.L.V.D. In Blvd Harambee stands for “building leaders in village development.” Harambee is Swahili for “bringing the village together.” The project will do this through education, employment, entrepreneurship, and spiritual enlightenment. Leaders from the village will teach, train, and empower young people to be the leaders for today and in the future. The goal of the grant is to build leadership among young people in the community to continue the work that has been done in the community by the current church leadership. The new group of leaders will expand the work that has already been done and take it the next level.
Chris Scharen, St. Lydia’s Dinner Church (Brooklyn, NY) 2022-23
Missional Church Leadership Formation Network
Missional Church Leadership Formation Network. This planning grant hopes to achieve an accessible, online, module-based leadership formation network that centers practitioners and communities of practice in urban mission sites. Equipping different levels of leaders together (from clergy to all sorts of lay leadership) heals a traditional divide between professional theological education and lay schools of education, and allows local teams to learn together.
Jesse Sudirgo, Tyndale University (Toronto, ON, Canada) 2022-23
The Pulse of Urban Ministry
“The Pulse of Urban Ministry” in the greater Toronto area: Tyndale is partnering with several nonprofit urban ministries in chronicling the history and current state of urban ministry in the city. This planning grant aims to capture a holistic picture of the state of Urban Ministry in the Greater Toronto Area by integrating various disciplines of research that account for historical, theological, practical and narrative perspectives. This project seeks to build upon current research and training activity in the city by identifying the points of integration to weave a shared narrative among urban ministers in the greater Toronto area.
Dr. Jude Tiersma-Watson, First Presbyterian Church (Pomona, CA) 2021-22
Urban Contemplation: Rhythms that Sustain Life in the City
An urban multicultural church made up of people growing in faith as followers of Jesus and joining in God’s kingdom work in Pomona, First Presbyterian Church will host this grant for Jude Tiersma-Watson as she works on “Urban Contemplation: Rhythms that Sustain Life in the City.” This grant proposes to understand more deeply the role of contemplation in the urban context, the dynamic between retreat and engagement in city life, and the kinds of practices and rhythms that promote thriving in the city. Art will also be used in this project – and two examples will be pursued. One is the role of mosaics as a way to take bits broken of materials and create them into something redemptive and new, as God does in our lives and in the life of the city. The second is a mural on a blank wall in a community garden across the street from the First Presbyterian Church in Pomona.