The Center for Progressive Renewal

The mission of The Center for Progressive Renewal is to renew Progressive Christianity by training new entrepreneurial leaders, supporting the birth of new liberal/progressive congregations, and by renewing and strengthening existing progressive churches.

The name Progressive Renewal is the articulation of a vision that our organization exists to service the progressive church in a systematic/progressive way. We understand Progressive Christianity as a faith that believes God’s family includes all people; God’s people are responsible for caring for the environment, the poor, sick and vulnerable; that education, healthcare and civil liberties are vital to abundant life and therefore the desire of God for all people; and that truth is found more often in honest grappling with the questions than in absolute hierarchical pronouncement of the answers. We further believe that this is the type of faith for which millions of Americans hunger.

Much of American culture leans toward progressive values—civil rights, environmental concerns, peace and human liberation—yet churches that espouse these values are in danger of extinction. The United Church of Christ, which has been on the forefront of many of these issues for its entire history, is among the most endangered mainline denominations. Closing an average of three churches a week, it must find genuine renewal if it is to survive and continue to have influence in our culture. In addition, there is a real danger that the growth of fundamentalism essentially will redefine the Christian faith as a nationalistic, militaristic, exclusionary system of belief. We find both prospects utterly unacceptable.