Students at commencement

CPL Site List

Important note: The following listing includes Christian Public Leader mentor sites for Master of Divinity (M.Div.) students from Fall 2014. New sites for Fall 2015 will be posted in mid-August.

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Humble Walk

Address:971 Armstrong Ave
City:St Paul

Student Information

What kind of Christian Public Leader student would be right for you:This is a great place for students looking to jump right into the fray of a mission start. Humble Walk is experiential--for everyone who gathers (not just the sem students).
How many students have you worked with in the past:6
How many rising students or seminarians do you work with currently:2
For this coming semester, what is the maximum number of students with whom you could work:3
What is the optimal length of learning for students working with you:2 semesters
Why would this length of time be best:Our community changes wildly over the course of a year. Being a part of it for an entire year will give you a better understanding of those changes.

Site Information

Site keywords:Mission start. Bar events. Park events. Community building. All-ages.
What is your congregation or nonprofit organization all about:We don't expect people to come to us-so we show up where people already are in our community--believing that Christ is already there.
Please tell us a bit about your site:We started six years ago with worship in a coffee shop. Five moves later (homes, storefront, park, art space, Jewish nursing home), we hold physical assets loosely and the community dearly.

We are continually looking for places where we might encounter one another-dangling the hem of Jesus' garment in the marketplace. While we have zero interest in bait and switch tactics, we are continually amazing who gathers with us in worship, in the bar and our neighborhood.

The Holy Spirit has gathered this new start around the very basics: bread, word and water. We are deeply rooted in Lutheran theology and liturgy. We also pay attention to the significant population of artists around Humble Walk and give them freedom to shape our life together.

We grow leaders by allowing them room to take risks (we have a high tolerance for risk-taking). The only way to fail at Humble Walk is not show up. If you show up, this church will form you. Born reborn. Formed reformed.
Please tell us what a student can learn at your site:We gather twice a month in our local Irish bar (Beer and Hymns, Storytelling Events and Theology Pub). There are all sorts of opportunities within those events for learning.

Once a month, we host an guest artist Sunday. This means, one of our local singer/songwriters does a mini-concert during worship. There is great learning to be had around how to integrate arts in worship life--without expecting the artist to fit into some sort of church mold.

Our kids are getting older every year (what?!) and we are in the discernment process of Humble confirmation and youth ministry. Are we a confirmation sort of church? If so, what/how? When you begin from scratch, you continually ask "Why?" questions.

We are creative, quirky, all ages, naked, becoming and wildly loving. No one is asleep at Humble Walk. People battered by other church experiences seek us out as a place to find shelter. We witness death and resurrection every single week.

We are also learning how to be a church. We are nearly six years old. Ready for first grade--no longer just hanging out and playing. First grade is exciting--and scary. There is so much to learn.
Also, we live on a shoe-string budget and our pastor is pt/solo.

Mentor Information: Jodi Houge

Current position:Pastor/Mission developer (part time)
Please tell us a little bit about yourself as a Christian public leader:I graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead in 1995 with a degree in Organizational Communications and minor in English Writing. I worked five summers at 3 different bible camps--so let's go ahead and claim a concentration in outdoor ministry (off the books). A decade of youth ministry led me to an MDiv degree at Luther Seminary (2008).

During my final semester at Luther, I invited people to gather for weekly worship at a coffee shop down the street from my house. This turned into my first call/Humble Walk (careful).

Most of my continuing education occurs around a weekly coffee shop text study. (I surround myself with brilliant, insightful people. I'm no fool). I am also in the 3rd year of a grant program for clergy renewal from Austin(TX)Theological Seminary. I retreat for 24 hours once a month with a group of clergy. They are Giants and teach me every single month.

I'm not really a goal setter. Which works around Humble Walk's amazingly incarnational ethos. I hope that most days I am able to meet people where they are at--and to listen without agenda. The rest is up to God.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself as a mentor of students:Christian public leader means allowing your faith to form how you move in the world (without being an asshole dictator--you need others to help you discern that movement).

This is a DIY church. Honestly. This is a place to try amazing things that you might not get to try anywhere else. What I require is that you 1. Show up 2. Do what you say you are going to do. If it's a total trainwreck, then we get to ask, "Hello, trainwreck. What is it you might teach us?" There is great grace around here. I am also part time and solo, so every single day is like drinking from a fire hose. I set you up with the tools you need (usually information/insight about the community) and then you give it a whirl. If you need lots of hand-holding, this perhaps isn't the best fit.