The Story of The Newbigin Fellowship


More than a decade ago, a group of urban Christians pondered what it would mean to prepare the next generation for wise and relevant Christian engagement in the city of San Francisco, as well as other strategic urban centers across the world. Today, that vision is a reality in The Newbigin Fellowship.

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. Newbigin believed that lay people in the local congregation would be the driving force behind societal change. Newbigin writes, "If the gospel is to challenge the public life of our will only be by movements that begin with the local congregation in which the reality of the new creation is present, known, and experienced, and from which men and women will go into every sector of public life to claim it for Christ, to unmask the illusions which have remained hidden and to expose all areas of public life to the illumination of the gospel. But that will only happen as and when local congregations renounce an introverted concern for their own life, and recognize that they exist for the sake of those who are not members, as sign, instrument and foretaste of God's redeeming grace for the whole life of society." (from The Gospel in a Pluralist Society)

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.

Now accepting 2013-2014 applications: Deadline July 31st

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The Mission of The Newbigin Fellowship >


Musings on the Newbigin Fellowship

Skyler Vander Molen >

Anne Kinderman >

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