The Colson Center began 30 years ago as a radio program. While we’ve maintained a commitment to using the power of mass media in order to bring the most important ideas to as many people as we can, proclamation alone is not enough. As a former colleague often said, the Church is God’s plan A, and there isn’t a plan B.
For the Colson Center to be successful in its mission, we’ve embraced a long-term strategy to engage local communities, schools, and especially churches.
The pandemic revealed both the potential and the limits of technological substitutes for learning in community. God used that time to open up for the Colson Center what might be called embedded learning opportunities: places where Christians can learn together.
• The Colson Fellows program now has regional cohorts in 70 cities. Fellows are the foundation of the Colson Center’s local relationships. Having received a 10-month intensive education in public theology, Fellows are committed to their churches and the flourishing of their communities. In the next year, certified Colson Fellows will be deployed to bring a foundational worldview formation curriculum to several hundred churches across the country (see New Initiative on Public Theology).
• The first Colson Fellows affiliate churches are now a year into the program. Church leaders who consider bringing an affiliate program to their churches first go through the program themselves. So far, interest in the church affiliate program has been incredible, and offers an opportunity for the expansion of worldview training.
• Though many school leaders, teachers, and homeschool parents have also joined the Colson Fellows program, even more are being trained through the Colson Educators program. This innovative new initiative equips teachers with the training and resources they need to form students in a Christian worldview. Over 3,900 teachers have participated in the program thus far, with more schools joining all the time.
• All the above brings substance to partner institutions in dozens of cities. A little over a year ago, Liz King joined the Colson Center team to help us plan and carry out events to equip the Church, from the annual Wilberforce Weekend to frequent large-scale gatherings in key cities. So far, thousands of people have joined us for events in Phoenix, Austin, Holland (MI), and Birmingham.
• Over the last few years, the Colson Center has added a team of regional directors, tasked with building relationships, mobilizing resources, and serving partner institutions within a geographic area. Their job is to know the people and the places, to listen, to serve, and to help connect local needs with Colson Center resources.
Our prayer and plan are that all of this is will be the first wave in a larger movement. We’re committed as an organization to doing what we do best: strategically teaching and training Christians to embody Christ in their life and work. Our role is to serve, by coming alongside churches and schools, parents and pastors, moms and dads, and by offering them the public theology that’s been largely absent from their tool belt, working with them until every Christian lives like one.
COLSON FELLOWS KEY STATS
- 700+ Colson Fellows comissioned in 2022
- 70 Colson Fellows cohorts
- 525 Colson Fellows alumni volunteers
COLSON EDUCATORS KEY STATS
- 600 New teachers in Q1
- 20,000+ Lessons completed
“Bigger is not better — better is better. We are thrilled by the incredible expansion of the Colson Fellows program. But what’s truly exciting to us is the substance of what those numbers represent: Christian leaders who are hungry for a worldview big enough for the world. And perhaps the most exciting thing of all is that the next class of Colson Fellows includes over 30 churches that are preparing and mobilizing their members for Kingdom work.”
- Bill Brown, Colson Fellows Program Dean
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Your generosity will positively impact Christians for years to come.
Forming a Strong Women Community
By Cheryl Kaye Davis, Strong Women Coordinator