Academy for Community Transformation (

This emerging experiment is drawn from my work on Reimagining Theological Education, particularly the work of the white-paper I co-wrote in 2016 on new models for credentialing and accreditation.

Academy for Community Transformation: A Vocational School for Social Change (LBI 3.0)

Concept draft January 26, 2019

“Do not ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman

Using a cohort-based contextual learning model, students discern and are equipped for vocations that serve the common good and make them come alive.  Content delivery happens by a variety of methods including on-line, video, guided reading, immersion, retreat, independent study, action-reflection, and traditional classroom lecture/discussion—all with a face-to-face relational and contextual learning focus. Mentor-coaches accompany students providing support, encouragement, modeling, discernment, formation, action-reflection, and relational learning.  Practices from Christian and other spiritual traditions deepen the learning, build community, and invite personal and communal transformation.

Program development is flexible and nimble to meet the needs of the students and the particularities of the learning contexts.  Initial program offerings to include:

  • Design for Good
    • Human centered design for leaders of people-centered organizations
  • Spanish language
    • To engage with Spanish-speaking people in local communities for shared action
  • Small Business Development
    • Social entrepreneurship and business creation for B-corp and other social enterprise, and for bi-vocational support to provide income for leaders
  • Community Organizing
    • Relational leadership for power building towards communal social change
  • Youth Service and Ministry
    • Equipping leaders and mentors for youth-centered organizations and populations
  • Practical Theology
    • Providing education and formation for current and emerging leaders of faith-based organizations.
    • Includes program of certification for lay-ministry and an alternative path towards ordination as a Deacon in the ELCA
  • Vocational and Spiritual Formation
    • Wisdom, discernment, and contemplative practices from Christian and other spiritual traditions, practiced in community.
  • Adaptive Leadership
    • Practical leadership training and formation for leaders in an increasingly complex world

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