Sheila Greeve Davaney, John Bowlin, Jarrett Kerbel and Elizabeth Valdez

Sheila Greeve Davaney, John Bowlin, Jarrett Kerbel and Elizabeth Valdez

Abstract

Faith-based organizing in the United States faces two major practical challenges: funding its work and teaching its approach to the next generation of pastors. With these challenges in mind, the editors asked Sheila Greeve Davaney, until recently a programme officer with the Ford Foundation, to reflect on her experience of funding the work of faith-based organizing networks. John Bowlin, a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and Jarrett Kerbel, a pastor in Philadelphia, recently team taught a course on theology and organizing at the seminary; the editors asked them to reflect on their classroom experience. Their experience was enriched by the presence of Elizabeth Valdez, an organizing network leader from Texas, who was on sabbatical in Princeton at the time, and was invited by Bowlin, while she audited his class, to share her grass-roots experience with the students. It is fitting that Valdez has the last word in this special issue, as an organizer who is committed to the goal of fostering dialogue between theologians and researchers in the academy and citizens and leaders in the community.