Who We Are
ABOUT THE CENTER FOR FAITH AND SERVICE
Based out of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois, the Center for Faith and Service works to develop new programs and identify existing resources that support the church to be present and relevant in the lives of young adults. Through a variety of initiatives, The Center partners with seminaries, summer camps, colleges, youth corps, denominations and local congregations to create programs and resources that help young people connect their passions for service and justice with their faith.
Reclaiming Service as an Act of Faith; Helping the Church to Change the World
Seminaries that Change the World
Each year, The Center for Faith and Service publishes a list of seminaries and divinity schools that are working to integrate service and social justice into their curriculum, field-education experiences, scholarship programs, and campus cultures. These schools, identified as “Seminaries that Change the World,” share a common commitment to be centers of discernment for people looking to explore and integrate their faith with their passions for justice and service.
Seminaries that Change the World gain unique access to consulting, development, and marketing resources available through the Center for Faith and Service, and are invited to nominate students to participate in the New Faces of Ministry project.
The New Faces of Ministry Project
MINISTRY: A PLATFORM TO LEAD
The New Faces of Ministry project strives to promote the unique opportunities available through theological education by lifting up the stories, testimonials, and work of students from some of the country’s leading seminaries and divinity schools. As part of the program, students and recent alumni/ae from Seminaries that Change the World receive leadership training and are invited speak, preach, teach, hold conversations, and lead worship with a diverse array of organizations, including congregations, colleges, youth corps, and summer camps.
One of the major goals of the New Faces of Ministry project is to challenge prevailing misconceptions about the “type” of people that go to seminary. By highlighting the work of dynamic, engaging individuals, the New Faces project is able to promote a more holistic view of ministry, and highlight the ways ministry can serve as a platform for public leadership and social change.
National Service Chaplaincy
The National Service Chaplaincy program seeks to provide ministers and laypeople with the tools to minister to young people who are completing years of service through AmeriCorps or other service organizations. Young people who take on service commitments often find themselves in new cities, with few contacts, little money, and no church or community to call “home.” By providing discernment resources, helping to establish intentional communities and houses of hospitality, and equipping individuals to reach out to young people engaged in service, The National Service Chaplaincy programs helps young people who are serving explore the relationship between their service and their faith.
Summer Camps that Change the World
While churches, youth groups, and college ministries serve an important role in faith formation, summer camps serve a critical foundation for inspiring, identifying, and training future leadership for the church. Many young people who start out as campers will return to lead as counselors. These young people, who have committed to serving their church and communities as leaders, are uniquely positioned to serve the church as ministers and public theologians. Summer Camps that Change the World identifies summer camps where faith thrives, and lifts up the important work they are doing for the life of the church.
Service Programs that Change the World
Service Programs that Change the World is a collection of two-dozen faith based young adult volunteer programs that support individuals to do a year of service throughout the country. Members work in non-profits that focus on an array of social justice issues including but not limited to education, nutrition, violence prevention, public health and legal service. While each program has their own unique characteristic, many of these program share common practices including a social justice focus, intentional community, spiritual exploration, and simple and sustainable living practices.