Ministry Incubator Update – January 2020

Eighteen Associates have been accepted into the Ministry Incubator at Iliff School of Theology for the year 2020.  Their new ministries include: working with young adults aging out of foster care; building 2nd  and 3rd generation Latinx community around environmental racism; four kinds of new faith communities; online preaching by subscription; two faith communities for LGBTQ+ persons; chaplaincy in the tech industry; online formational community for rural people; building a community of artists; Climate Faith Future organizational development; healing treatment for women experiencing homelessness; and teaching cultural competence to children and adults.

The remarkable scope of ideas and communities served is testament to the wide-ranging work of the Holy Spirit in our time.  Iliff’s history of innovation and building community across differences makes it the perfect host for a distinctive incubator for ministries beyond conventional congregations. Iliff’s incubator is focused in three areas: building community among innovators for accountability at the earliest stages of dreaming, developing the specific skills needed to bring an idea to fruition, and cultivating a network of the various kinds of support needed to thrive.

Consistent with Iliff’s recognition that the Spirit uses many religious traditions, the Ministry Incubator includes Associates who are Episcopalian, Unity, non-denominational, unaffiliated Protestant, and “non-religious” as well as United Methodists.  Associates are working in 9 different states and an African nation.

Associates begin meeting virtually twice a week in early January.  One meeting each week will involve interviewing an innovator whose new form of ministry has already taken hold. The second meeting will be in small groups focused week by week on honing the project of a group member.

Skill building will also make use of the ReSource @ Iliff trainings. (These are also available to any clergy or laity for a small fee: see )

Rev. Elizabeth Jackson ’11, who has herself created a non-traditional ministry experiment, is the administrative leader of the Ministry Incubator ¼ time while she serves a more conventional congregation. The steering committee team also includes Iliff faculty (the Rev. Dr. Cathie Kelsey, the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Mahan) and staff (the Rev. Dr. Tom Barlow).