Center for Innovation in Ministry

Ministry in Motion

The Center for Innovation in Ministry is a program of the Graduate School of Theology dedicated to addressing the ever-changing spiritual, social and economic challenges facing society. We seek new ways to apply the tools of ministry to offer creative solutions for the Church’s response to the challenging issues in our communities.

We are an incubator for new ideas that serve the church and its manifold ministries. We seek to stimulate collaborations and ignite positive breakthroughs. We link up individual innovators and partner with congregations, educational organizations, and groups seeking to act positively in the world.

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The Phoenix Affirmations

As an incubator of the faith community’s response to social challenges, the Center for Innovation in Ministry is guided by principles articulated in the Phoenix Affirmations, a progressive approach to ministry and pastoral care embracing the diversity and inclusivity of people and the multiplicity of life paths and ideas. The twelve affirmations provide a structure to frame the purpose of each project, and provide guidance to evaluate the accomplishments of our objectives.

To learn more about the Phoenix Affirmations, please visit our partner Rev. Dr. Eric Elnes, author of The Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity

Walking with Jesus while acknowledging the possibility of other legitimate paths

Listening for God Word's through prayer, scripture, and reflection

Celebrating God's glory in all of Creation

Expressing our love in sincere, artful worship

Engaging ALL people authentically, as creations in the image of God

Standing with the marginalized, seeking peace and justice

Supporting religious freedom and the separation of church and state

Walking humbly with God while loving our enemies

Living in the knowledge that we and all people are loved for eternity

Recognizing that faith and science serve the pursuit of truth

Caring for our bodies and living holistically

Believing our lives have a meaning and purpose which extend God's realm of love

Our Partners

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Rev. Matthew Davis, Mendocino Presbyterian Church

Rev. Matthew Davis’ programs support a variety of environmental ethics ministries. He brings a host of ideas and experience to what ministry means both inside and outside the church walls, and especially in the great outdoors. His signature project, Holy Goats, provides an opportunity to look deeply at environmental issues, creates spiritual re-charging, and interprets theological and faith issues to the “spiritual but not religious” audiences.

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CREATION Celebrating God's glory in all of Creation

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Dr. Marcia McFee, Worship Design Studio, Ford Fellow Visiting Professor of Worship at SFTS

Worship and ritual programming play an essential role in equipping churches with skills and resources to carry out their messages of hope, challenge, and inclusivity. The progressive church has an important message of vitality for today’s world, and Marcia McFee’s Worship Design Studio seeks to deeply connect and inspire. As the Ford Fellow Visiting Professor of Worship at San Francisco Theological Seminary, Marcia develops innovative academic programs in creative ministry.

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CREATIVITY Expressing our love in sincere, artful worship