Were you ever one of the children to walk into the art classroom and wish you had free access to the variety of supplies and tools to create with? What about the music room; did you day dream if you had the opportunity play any of the instruments scattered throughout the space with abandon? Here’s the grown up version of the ministry classroom full of instruments, supplies, and resources ready and waiting for people who sit in coffee shops daydreaming or the local craft brewery sketching ideas on a napkin. In 2019, Iliff School of Theology launched The Ministry Incubator, a community of creativity to encourage and equip leaders with a “heart” for a particular group of people as those leaders imagine and develop the structures needed for ministry with that group.


Why?  Starting a new ministry “thing” is challenging. A community of folks who are also imagining, experimenting, learning, and sharing ideas together can strengthen each individual effort in unexpected ways. Denominations create some kinds of support for starting congregations. The Ministry Incubator at Iliff invites efforts that stretch imagination and boundaries beyond what denominations usually support.

Who?  Clergy and laity looking for a place to be co-creators in ministry who either 1) enter into agreement to be Associates of the Ministry Incubator, or 2) are Friends of the Ministry Incubator in a less accountable relationship to its community. All religious traditions are welcome, as well as those leaders who identify as “none” or “done.”

What?  In addition to the support of a community of innovators, Associates of the Ministry Incubator will have access to trainings and workshops offered by ReSource at Iliff School of Theology. Topics currently include: financial management, fund-raising, organizational structures, roles of leadership, dancing with change. Associates will also help identify the kinds of information, expertise, and accountability that will support the development of their ministries. Friends of the Incubator may also make use of ReSource but will not have the same level of accountability as Associates. For United Methodist clergy, the Ministry Incubator may be their place of appointment; it is an approved Extension Ministry site. Associates of The Incubator will not be paid employees of The Iliff School of Theology. Associates may indicate their affiliation with the School as “Associate of The Ministry Incubator at Iliff School of Theology.”

Where?  The community of associates and of friends will primarily engage with each other virtually, using Iliff’s considerable experience in creating real community in virtual spaces. This means that the ministries being imagined and built may be anywhere.

When?  Applications for the first group of Associates of the Ministry Incubator are now closed. Please email us to be notified when the second group is scheduled in 2022. Learn more about the Ministry Incubator 2.0 here.

Cost?  At this time there is not a cost to either Associates or Friends.


Contact the administrator of the Ministry Incubator, Rev. Elizabeth Jackson –

Contact the Dean of the Chapel:  Rev. Dr. Cathie

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