INAUGURAL CLASS GRADUATES FROM UNITED’S LEADERSHIP FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE PROGRAM / APPLICANTS SOUGHT FOR 2023–2024 PROGRAM
(ST. PAUL, MINN., April 13, 2023)—United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities’ Leadership Center for Social Justice—led by Director Rev. Dr. Ry O. Siggelkow—is excited to announce that the inaugural cohort of students in the Leadership for Social Justice Program will celebrate their graduation in May just as the Center opens applications for the 2023–2024 cohorts. The graduation at 6:30 p.m. on May 18, 2023, will include a showcase of the inaugural cohort members’ project work during the nine-month program.
As Rev. Dr. Siggelkow asserts, “these pastors have been learning skills to counter the destructive forces of organized abandonment that engulfs communities in fear, dread, and despair. We are extraordinarily proud of the concrete steps they have taken to build communities of care, solidarity, power, and hope.”
Projects covered a wide range of social justice causes and strategies for promoting awareness and action. Among them are plans to:
- create resources to help congregations protect water resources and honor their connection to indigenous voices;
- partner with a local organization to further migrant rights in their congregation and community;
- engage their congregation and community in advocating for disability rights through prior authorization reform at the state level; and
- explore and expand congregants and the community’s understanding of reproductive rights through storytelling and art.
While celebrating the achievements of its inaugural class, the Leadership Center for Social Justice is inviting pastors and ministers to apply for the second year of the program by July 1, 2023. As it did for the graduating class, the program aims to equip faith leaders to reflectively engage in a broad range of pressing social issues—including struggles for economic, racial, gender, sexual, and ecological justice—in contextual, practical, and faithful ways. The program, led by a team of experts, helps pastors develop and/or deepen sustainable, community-based, social justice ministries responsive to what God is doing in our world, congregations, and communities.
The new cohort will meet twice monthly (Friday mornings) from September 2023 through May 2024. Those who complete the program earn a Certificate in Leadership for Social Justice and may be eligible to earn up to eight credits toward a Doctor of Ministry degree. The Leadership Center for Social Justice will also be collaborating with Convergence to assess the vitality of participating congregations and their leaders and to build on existing areas of strength.
Those who wish to apply to join the program must supply a congregational letter of support and complete an application at www.unitedseminary.edu/lcsj by July 1, 2023. To learn more, contact the Center’s administrative assistant, Stella Pearce, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Leadership Center for Social Justice
The Leadership Center for Social Justice seeks to equip, inspire, and empower leaders to faithfully and reflectively engage in concrete, contextual ministry for social justice. In the spirit of faith, hope, and love, the Center supports leaders in developing skills in contextually sensitive, creative, and effective leadership and social praxis.
Founded as a welcoming, ecumenical school that embraces all denominations and faith traditions, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities has been on the cutting edge of progressive theological thought leadership since it was established in 1962. Today, United continues to train leaders who dismantle systems of oppression, explore multifaith spirituality, and push the boundaries of knowledge.