Stewardship Resource

Resources for Cultivating Stewardship Communities

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  • Author: The Center for Parish Development
  • Updated: 06/24/2008
  • Copyright: ©1999 Center for Parish Development, All Rights Reserved

The Center for Parish Development is an ecumenical, missional, research, consulting, and teaching agency founded by a consortium of mission agencies, theological seminaries, and regional church bodies.


The mission of the Center is to discover how the church in general and the local church in particular can learn to discern and participate in God's mission more faithfully and effectively, and to provide counsel and resources to facilitate that transformational process.

The Center carries out this mission by forming dynamic learning partnerships in which the church's life and mission are brought into conversation with theological and organizational systems research, and by sharing with others what we learn in these partnerships.


Purpose. The Center's purpose is to help churches strive to become more faithful and effective missional communities that engage the culture with the gospel, liberate themselves from Christendom bondage, and equip themselves to discern and participate in God's redemptive mission.
Guiding Profound Transition. Since its beginning, the Center has been a research and consulting agency that people call upon when they want to make major and profound change--to become faithful missional communities that engage American culture with the gospel.

Founding. The Center was founded in 1968 by an ecumenical coalition of denominational mission boards, theological education institutions, and regional church bodies.

Governance. The Center is governed by a 12-member, ecumenical board of directors. Board members themselves--both clergy and lay-- are persons committed to the vision of the missional church and are persons of demonstrated wisdom and insight. The current board chairperson is Rev. John Rottenburg.

Location. The Center's office is housed in the United Church of Hyde Park Building, in one of the most culturally and economically diverse neighborhoods in Chicago--Hyde Park. Five theological seminaries and the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, all within walking distance of the Center, provide rich intellectual, research, and library resources to assist the Center staff in its work.

Funding. The Center is funded by fees charged to its clients for professional services and resources.

Resources. The Center's resources provide an intellectual feast for entire church bodies, correlating biblical teachings, theology, theory of planned change, and the practice of ministry, leading to major changes in ways of thinking, being and doing.

Ecumenical. The Center understands itself to be a missional organization within the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. A major part of the Center's history and mission is the engagement of churches in the exploration of their own heritage and interpretation in light of their current context.

Commitment to Knowledge. The Center's staff members are dedicated to keeping abreast with current research in the areas of theology and the change sciences. Results of their growing body of theological and practical knowledge are shared through publications, books, study resources, and theological and scientific articles.

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