Helping faith leaders fund community revitalization
Faith leaders must continue to reimagine what ministry looks and feels like as they navigate a new normal and adapt accordingly. The Social Impact cohort is designed to help pastors and social justice advocates critically and constructively explore the various ways in which the organizations that they serve can access multiple sources of capital—beyond member contributions—to fund community revitalization.
“l am thrilled that Drew Theological School can partner with the Rev. Dr. Sidney Williams in offering this new Social Impact DMin cohort that will address, in holistic, life-giving ways, the significant transitions that society, church, and culture are experiencing,” said Theological School Dean Edwin David Aponte. “Dr. Williams is a recognized leader in this area and I look forward to teaching with him in this Drew cohort as we seek to engage the changing religious landscape.”
“We are excited to offer a Doctor of Ministry cohort experience focused specifically on practical, innovative approaches to some of the toughest questions religious leaders are facing today,” said Meredith Hoxie Schol, director of doctoral studies. “This is a cohort for leaders who truly see the world as their parish and who are eager to carry out the mission of God in their changing communities.”
The cohort will be led by the Rev. Dr. Sidney Williams, adjunct professor, president and CEO of Crossing Capital Group, and pastor of Bethel AME Church in Morristown, New Jersey.
He has been named a 2023 Locke Innovative Leader by Wesleyan Impact Partners, a national nonprofit supported by impact investors, borrowers, and philanthropists investing in ministries and leadership. The award is bestowed to spiritual entrepreneurs who are committed to innovative ministries.
The Social Impact cohort will examine the history of financing religious life, as well as biblical and other faith-based paradigms, by exploring strategies and practical applications to address the many issues facing local congregations as well as non-profit organizations serving under-resource or low-wealth communities.
“Rather than trying to assimilate into models of ministry that were not designed for your ministry gifts or context, social impact is the place God calls you to where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet,” said Williams. “I call this Fishing Differently.”
The cohort entails five foundational modules. Through a combination of online and intensive courses, group travel to relevant conferences such as SOCAP, and research and course projects, students will learn how to develop partnerships with impact investors and social entrepreneurs. Students will also learn how to collaborate with large corporations and foundations to make a meaningful social impact in their communities.
Drew’s Social Impact DMin cohort joins the existing DMin cohort experiences commencing in fall 2023: Pastoral Identity & Partnerships and the Bible, Theology and Leadership in the Korean Context. The Courageous Leadership in a Changing Culture cohort will commence in summer 2023.