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Creative Callings at Boston University (and Beyond)

A new collaborative project at BU School of Theology is bringing together teams of innovative leaders who are seeking new ways to live faithfully in their own unique contexts. Participants in ’Creative Callings’ are designing creative hub learning events, assembling resources, and mentoring each other.

StudyingCongregations.org is proud to be a core resource for this project.  Groups that do this creative work need to have a clear vision of what vocation and calling look like in their context so that they can design programs that are deeply grounded in the particular commitments, realities, and capacities.

  • They will need to be serious about the theological foundations on which they can build and discover the right language that will be meaningful to those with whom they seek to work. This is the work of discovering and analyzing “congregational culture.”
  • They will need to be ready to listen to the world in which they are located, calling out gifts that respond to real needs. This work of understanding community context will be aided by tools for discovering and analyzing “congregational ecology.”
  • They will need to imagine the structures and support systems (including models of leadership) that will make it possible to build and maintain communities in which lives of meaning and purpose can be called forth and sustained. This will require careful assessment of existing “congregational processes.”
  • They will need to be able to recognize both the deficits and the gifts of the gathered community, imagining all the ways those “congregational resources” of people, wisdom, and connection can be tapped.

That is, ’creative callings’ – whether part of BU’s project or just people seeking renewed ways of gathering — require new ways of thinking about gathered communities of faith. The resources of this website can provide guiding questions, tools for exploration, and ample examples.

Nancy Ammerman
About the Author
Dr. Nancy T. Ammerman is Professor of Sociology of Religion in the Department of Sociology and School of Theology at Boston University. A longtime member of the Congregational Studies Team, she is Project Director of StudyingCongregations.org