Leadership Formation Program




Program Description

The Street Psalms Leadership Formation Program is a two-year training experience that is a practical blend of theological formation (Head), spiritual formation (Heart), and social action (Hands). We use a cohort model, intensive vision trips (3 U.S. cities and an international trip) and online delivery.

All participants will graduate with a fundable, culminating project that integrates their training and context and serves their organizational goals.

Each intensive includes ample time for study, prayer, reflection and participatory learning in a small community environment. Graduation can lead to ordination with Street Psalms Community. Credit/Degree options are available through partnering seminaries and universities. 

Between intensives, participants:

1. Read books chosen from the reading list. Reading is processed in the context of a small study group of peers.

2. Are actively involved in service/ministry/presence among people in marginalized communities.

3. Receive personal spiritual direction/mentorship.

4. Prepare for and participate in monthly webinars.

Acceptance to the program implies a commitment from the participant to attend all intensives, the supervised internship, and the study program with webinars.


Content is presented through an adult learning model respectful of the experience, knowledge, and wisdom of all participants in an environment that understands faculty to be facilitators and co-learners. The facilitators are experienced practical theologians, spiritual directors, and practitioners who receive spiritual direction themselves and who are committed to their own growth and development. We use the action/reflection/discernment model of transformation. We do “theology from below,” practicing non-violent ways of interpreting Scripture. We engage in transformational, empowering, asset-based service among the poor. The city is our classroom, parish and playground; we are “out” in the city during a significant portion of our intensive gatherings.

Program Specifics

I. A Two-Year Formation Experience: This transformational experience is a blend of intensive teaching, vision trips, and online delivery. 

II. Pilot Cohort: 12 per cohort

III. Target Audience

1. Emerging leaders serving the urban poor.

2. Leaders undergoing shifts (liminal space) in their faith and ministry.

3. Teachers/facilitators.

4. Those seeking ordination with Street Psalms Community. 

IV. Prerequisites

1. Demonstrated leadership.

2. Lives connected with people at the margins of society.

3. Open to liberating orthodoxy – “from below and non-violent.”

4. Ready for personal transformation.

5. Eagerness to learn in community/cohort.

IV. Two-Year Track (Example, actual cities may vary)

Year I

  • Orientation: Webinar
  • Intensive 1: October 2014 (5 Days)       (Tacoma)
  • Monthly Webinars                                                               
  • Intensive 2: May 2015 (5 Days)        (Denver)

Year II

  • Intensive 3: October 2015 (5 Days)       (Camden)
  • Monthly Webinars
  • Intensive 4: May 2016 (7 Days)   (Guatemala City)

Culminating Project

  • From the outset students are required to design/develop a project/initiative/plan that applies their learning to their ministry/work. At the end of two years each student will graduate with a “strategic plan” that can serve as the basis of a funding proposal. This is done under the supervision of a mentor/coach.

VII. Distinctives

  • Facilitators: The two-year program is facilitated by seasoned urban ministry leaders/professors. Participants will engage dozens of presenters from a variety of contexts.
  • Cohort experience: Participants will learn/reflect with a diverse group (geographic, cultural, denomination, gender, etc.) of urban leaders. Participants are screened to determine their readiness for this program. 
  • Vision Trips: Each intensive is a vision trip in which participants engage the city as classroom, parish and playground. Participants will experience five urban contexts (four U.S. cities and one international city).  
  • Culminating Project: Each student will have a structured process from the outset that culminates in a ministry project/plan. These projects may serve as the basis of proposals for future funding/investment. We will recruit funding partners who will “award” cutting edge proposals/businesses based on merit.  
  • Pathway to Ordination: Some participants will enroll in the two-year program as part of a “novitiate” that could lead to ordination with the Street Psalms Community. Those seeking ordination will be assigned a mentor within the Street Psalms Community to “discern” their call.  
  • Credit Options: There are a variety of credit options available to participants including the following: Degree, partial credit, independent study and certificate of endorsement from participating universities. 

VIII. Program Cost Per Participant                    

City as Classroom learning experiences, Fees       
  • Local transportation, fees, dinners, etc.
Room and board:
  • $100 @ 5 nights x 3 intensives
International Vision Trip $2,000
Graduation Fee $250
Domestic Airfare      
  • 3 U.S. trips @ $500
Total Program Costs =
$6,900 per person

IX. Fellowships. 

A limited number of fellowships are available based on three criteria:

  1. Financial need.
  2. Well-demonstrated commitment to a life of seeing and celebrating the good news of Jesus in the world, especially in hard places. (For examples of what we mean by this, please visit the Geography of Grace magazine here. (http://geographyofgrace.com)
  3. Specific, definable, measurable personal contribution to the mission of the Institute (and/or Street Psalms Press, Street Psalms Community, Center for Transforming Mission) over the course of the program. Ideally, this will dovetail with your coursework and work you are already doing in your context, and will be tailored to fit your gifts. (Examples of your contribution to our mission and network might include writing, editorial/production, hosting gatherings, fundraising/grant writing, teaching/training, chaplaincy, office administration, tech support, research, special projects.) 

An additional application form (and portion of the interview process) is required for an Institute Fellowship.

For future updates about this program, fill out the contact form below: 

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