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Congregational Leaders Fellowship

Cultivating Interreligious Belonging

Is your congregation looking for a way to deepen its work and learning around a civic issue? Do you want to partner with other religious communities to address this issue? 

If so, join the ICJS 2023 Congregational Leaders Fellowship.

At a time of polarization and partisanship, we need to cross divides between communities—even our own religious communities. Now more than ever, we need religious leaders (both clergy and lay leaders) who are willing to engage and mobilize across religious, political, gender, racial, socioeconomic, and generational divides.

The Congregational Leaders Fellowship (CLF), led by Alisha Tatem, Th.D. (Program Director, Congregations), is a 6-month cohort experience for leaders from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish congregations to build understanding and relationships across those divides. Fellows explore how each tradition strives to bring about a sense of belonging and flourishing for all people. 

CLF can extend and enhance your congregations’ current work that focuses on this vision. This work may include creation care, providing food for individuals experiencing food insecurity, or welcoming individuals who have been displaced due to war, natural disasters, etc. We know this work cannot be sustained if done in isolation, but is strengthened through partnerships. 

Program Details

From January to June 2023, Fellows will participate in 10 cohort gatherings (approximately twice each month on Tuesday evenings). Each gathering will include presentations or workshops by ICJS scholars or staff, small group dialogue, group presentations, and project planning sessions. 

How to Apply

We invite you to apply with another congregation of a different faith (e.g., Protestant church partnering with a mosque or synagogue). This partnership may be new or well-established. If you don’t have a partner, we will find one for you. 

Important Dates

  • Application deadline: November 30, 2022
  • Application notification: December 15,  2022
  • Fellowship Start Date: January 10, 2023

ICJS Commitments

  • Create space for learning and dialogue among Jews, Christian, and Muslims 
  • Support fellows in strengthening interreligious understanding within your own religious community;
  • Foster relationships between diverse religious communities;
  • Provide a Congregational Stipend ($2,000) for completing all fellowship commitments.

Fellow Commitments

  • Attend 8 out of 10 cohort gatherings (half will be in-person, half virtual)
  • Attend Storytelling Workshop & Retreat (in-person) 
  • Attend 2 religious services with congregations of faiths other than your own
  • Attend 1 correlated learning experience (e.g., ICJS courses or events, community events with other congregations, Interfaith webinars, field trips to religious sites) 
  • Write a reflection essay for ICJS “Voices” column
  • Complete  intercongregational, interreligious project and present summary to the cohort 

Participant Rosters

I have come to see that there is no one religious tradition with “all the Truth;” but rather, we are on this journey together and are enriched by sharing our experiences, our traditions, and our faith.

Elaine Crawford

St. Matthew Catholic Church and Congregational Leader Fellow