The Newbigin Fellowship
A nine-month journey into Christian theology, spirituality, and community in order to equip the next generation for wise and faithful Kingdom engagement in the city.
The name of this fellowship is inspired by the British missionary-theologian Lesslie Newbigin, whose work in India and influential writing on the Gospel and culture spurred a movement of men and women motivated to see the West as a mission field. The program is also influenced by the vision of William Wilberforce and his circle of friends, "the Clapham group," who promoted social reform and, most notably, the abolition of slavery in late 18th, early 19th century England. Within this fellowship were men and women of influence in business, politics, and the arts who longed to see the justice and mercy of Christ meet the injustices of slavery, poor work conditions, inadequate child labor laws, and poverty. Their efforts impacted education and orphanages, hospitals and prisons. In recent years, followers of Jesus have spearheaded reforms such as the Civil Rights Movement and fostered help for people in need through initiatives geared towards addressing poverty, sex trafficking, sustainable living, and much more.
The Newbigin Fellowship, a project of the Newbigin House of Studies
, is designed to nurture the next generation for meaningful engagement with the intellectual, social, and spiritual needs of the Bay Area through through the following:
Worldview Development: The program is designed to foster wise theological and biblical thinking. Through a combination of readings, podcasts, social networking, and group conversations, the young professional will be equipped to engage the diverse and complex culture of the Bay Area.
Spiritual Formation: The program will introduce the student to both ancient and contemporary means of spiritual formation and renewal, through a combination of readings and experiential elements. The focus is not only on personal spirituality, but communal spirituality – the embodiment of Christ within the Fellowship, and for the sake of the City.
Relational Connection: The program recognizes the paralysis of loneliness in the city despite the many modern means of connectedness. We meet this need by fostering community within the Fellowship, and by providing mentoring and peer support along the way. The relationships developed here will be lasting ones.
The Newbigin Fellowship is a nine-month commitment (September 1 to May 31) for young professionals who have at least two years experience in the workforce, and who are employed full-time in the city. Tuition is $2000 for the year, with limited scholarships available. We welcome donors who are willing to provide scholarships and to support the Fellowship in its important work.
During the nine-month period, the Newbigin Fellows will be invited into an intensive exploration of Christian worldview, spirituality, and community:
Weekly: A reading requirement, a selected podcast, and a weekly meeting.
7 Saturdays: Seven Saturday events, which may include city excursions, in-depth personal engagement through personality inventories and spiritually formative experiences, interaction with a noted thinker/writer, and more.
3 Retreats: Three retreats devoted to a specific topic or spiritual discipline.
At the conclusion of your Fellowship, you will be equipped to live more fully and wisely in your faith, vocation, and relationships. Your perspective on life, culture, and the ideas that shape us will have grown immeasurably, with a deeper understanding of how the narrative of Scripture meets the narrative of postmodernity. You will inherit a community of fellow travelers who know you and who have challenged you (…and will continue to challenge you). You will have been shaped by spiritual practices which have benefited Christians for centuries, and which add vibrancy and texture to your spirituality. You will benefit from a more honest assessment of yourself – your brokenness as well as your gifts. And will be able to engage more wisely and faithfully as a public Christian in your sphere of influence.
"The Newbigin Fellowship has been an amazing experience. It has added spiritual depth and discipline to my life. And it has provided the frameworks and worldview that will make me a better leader for years to come." - Stuart Rentz
"The Newbigin Fellowship was an incredible opportunity for me to explore many questions and issues that had nagged me about Christianity, that I had never been quite able to articulate, that I felt were forbidden to raise in a Christian setting, or that I just didn't have the time or discipline to explore. I now find myself much more confident in my faith having spent a year asking the tough questions, reading works by some of the greatest Christian thinkers on these topics, and by developing my own perspective through dynamic weekly conversations. And I think all of us Newbigin Fellows felt extremely blessed by the strong bond we formed having struggled through tough theological, cultural, and personal issues together. The Newbigin Fellowship greatly exceeded my expectations." - Ellie Kelly
"The Newbigin Fellowship has been a good forum to learn new things, and to un-learn some things I thought I knew. It has been an opportunity to re-focus my relationship with God, to reflect on what it means to be part of God's work to renew the world, and to discern how that challenges the culture in which we live. I'd recommend it for any Christian who is interested in thinking about, and practicing, these things." - Peter Todd
"The Newbigin Fellowship created a space to speak with other Christians about the integration of faith and culture. At the same time, what I found most valuable, was the community the Fellowship fostered. I hope this unqiue community will help us continue to wrestle with what the integration of faith and culture could look like for the broader church community." - Zachary Johnson
"The Newbigin Fellowship was an intense year of study, discussion and reflection. Being raised in a Christian household I never completely understood why or where I stood on many of life’s tough questions… What is my calling? Where do I get my certainty from? What does it mean to be created in God’s image? What role should culture play in my life? What role should I play in society? The Newbigin Fellowship didn’t answer all of my questions but it was a unique and safe place to contemplate these challenging topics. The result is a much deeper respect for God’s story and a confidence that I’m better equipped to discuss these matters with compassion and love." - Matt Branagh