September marks the kickoff of the 2021-22 Faith + Justice Fellowship, our first full year with the newly renamed and refocused program as an initiative under the Newbigin House of Studies. An incredible team has been working for months under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Peter Choi to reimagine the curriculum to better meet the time we find ourselves in, and continue to provide resources and space for curiosity and questions as the program aims to explore Christianity and Christian spirituality beyond what many have been taught.
The Fellowship is a nine-month program made up of three primary tracks of participants: Laity, Clergy, and Academic. This year, we also launched the Faith + Justice Network, a place for alumni of previous Fellows programs to stay engaged with past and present content, and continue their journey of justice through the lens of faith and faith through the lens of justice.
This year, we are excited to welcome:
- 90 Fellows across all tracks and in seven cohorts
- 29 Network participants
- Nearly $20,000 in scholarships awarded (thanks to our generous donors!)
- Participation from 30 U.S. states plus a number of global locations (including Bahrain, Canada, England, Ethiopia, and Ireland)
The Fellows and Network will be learning together in large and small groups, with a variety of online activities to support the main topic of each month (including a new and Fellowship-exclusive podcast twice each month). To kick things off, this month we are reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith as we spend time reflecting on who we are, why we’re here, and our hopes for the coming year.
Throughout the fall season, we will be focusing on the big theme of “Faith and Spiritual Theology.” During this time, our attention will be on developing spiritual and theological wisdom for life with God, focusing on all of life as time- and place-bound in order to shape the ways we approach telling our stories, reading Scripture, and building a life of prayer and contemplative practices. We have an exciting lineup of webinar speakers (including Anthea Butler, Julie Rodgers, and Jeff Chu) along with a great reading list (in addition to the Taylor book mentioned above, we will read White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America by Anthea Butler; Outlove: A Queer Christian Survival Story by Julie Rodgers; and Wholehearted Faith by Rachel Held Evans and Jeff Chu).
This winter, we will be hosting a public event in San Francisco entitled “Becoming the Beloved Community.” More information coming soon on that gathering, which will be held January 19-20, 2022 (pending any public health restrictions).
In the spring season, we will shift our focus to “Justice and Public Theology.” We will explore Christianity as a public faith that prioritizes the common good – with an interdisciplinary approach drawing on history, politics, science, as well as religion – to understand and address common obstacles to human flourishing. We are excited for how this season is shaping up, and will be announcing the speakers and book list soon.
Be sure to follow along on social media (@faithjusticenet on your favorite platform), where we will be sharing more details and experiences from the Fellowship.
Main image: Teaching Fellows from our kickoff webinar and participants on Zoom.
Jessica manages events, assists with the logistics of the Fellows program, and manages social media for the Newbigin House of Studies and Faith + Justice Network. She holds a degree in architecture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and has a passion for organization and high attention to detail. Jessica has lived in San Francisco since 2008, and loves exploring the city and taking care of her growing houseplant collection.