Thriving Congregations Initiative

Reimagining Church

New Models for the 21st Century


This Lilly Endowment funded program is engaging with 40 congregations (ten per year for four years) who will work through an extensive self-assessment, facilitated by Yale Divinity School students in their final year of study, identifying areas of congregational life ready for new direction, for reimagining.

Each congregation will launch new initiatives supported by the cohort, by the divinity school resources, and by visionary leaders. The evolving process is being shared via this Reimagining Church website, so that congregations far and near will be able to follow each church’s efforts, and perhaps model their own reimagining process at the same time.


by Kevin Kane
First Church of Madison UCC

Reimagining the Church?

But how?

by Jordan Sylar
First Church of Madison UCC

This project is full of questions, but we must make sure they are good, life-giving ones.

by Max Sklar
Trinity on the Green

One theme that has recurred throughout these stories and our discussions is the theme of invitation and its shadow side, demand.

by Katy Webb
First Church of Madison UCC

Reimagining Church. The phrase could sound a bit scary, right?

by Luke Melonakos-Harrison
Hamden Plains United Methodist

Throughout the fall, the Reimagining Church group at HPUMC met every other week to discuss the past, present, and future of the church.

Featured Video

"Thriving Congregations" Lecture with Dr. Gregory Howard

Visionary Leadership Plenary with Rev. Michael Martin and Rev. Mark-Anthony Montgomery

Visionary Meeting with Tyler Sit

Serving Connecticut Congregations

Eight  Connecticut congregations are participating in the Reimagining Church Project this second year of four.  The work began in September, when small working groups were established in each congregation and matched with a YDS student in their final year of study.  These working groups, facilitated by students, are engaging in a process of self-reflection and visioning as they reimagine what Church will look like for them.

These eight congregations are both small and large and represent a broad range of denominational traditions and demographic identities.  Most of all, each congregation is ready to try new things in a world that is constantly changing.

Marquand Lights

The Reimagining Church: New Models for the 21st Century Project

will utilize YDS students, faculty and staff with expertise in a range of ministerial skills, providing an array of opportunities to empower and strengthen congregations as they engage in this transformation.