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Developing Economic Leadership in Urban Ministry

How do we shepherd the flock in the search for economically healthy and socially just urban communities? What is the role of the local church in sustainable human development? Where do we find guidance for those facing unemployment and neighborhood displacement? Join us to explore how moral and economic clarity give direction in our mission to be true disciples, fostering effective charity, empowering our congregations and creating a context for urban flourishing.

Thriving Churches: Flourishing Communities (TChurches) conference participants will envision a new framework for examining complex problems facing today’s city, founded in a Biblical economic worldview. Participants will network with other catalysts for growth in their community, ground discussion in continued emphasis on real world applications of Biblical principles, and develop leadership capacity through the resources offered for each session.

NOTE: Conference participants must currently live and work in the Pacific NorthWest region of the United States (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington). Participants will represent a variety of religious traditions and backgrounds, and all attendees must share a commitment to religious values and a respect for the rights of individuals.


Opening Remarks:

Rev. Robert Sirico

President, Acton Institute

Sirico Headshot

Rev. Robert A. Sirico is the president and co-founder of the Acton Institute and pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus parish in Grand Rapids, Mich. His writings on religious, political, economic, and social matters are published in a variety of journals, including: the New York Times, the Wall Street JournalForbes, the London Financial Times, the Washington Times, the Detroit News, and National Review. Fr. Sirico is often called upon by members of the broadcast media for statements regarding economics, civil rights, and issues of religious concern, and has provided commentary for CNN, ABC, the BBC, NPR, and CBS' 60 Minutes, among others. In his latest book, Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy, Fr. Sirico shows how a free economy is the best way to meet society’s material needs.


Session Speakers:

John Wilsey, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of History and Christian Apologetics, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Wilsey Headshot

John Wilsey, Ph.D. teaches primarily in the Seminary’s fully accredited B.S. program offered to offenders serving life sentences at the Darrington Unit, a maximum security state facility. He is the author of several articles and editorials, as well as One Nation Under God: An Evangelical Critique of Christian America (2011), American Exceptionalism and Civil Religion: Reassessing the History of an Idea (2015), and most recently, he has produced Democracy in America: A New Abridgment for Students (2016). He has been married for nineteen years to Mandy, and they have two daughters.

Rudy Carrasco

United States Regional Facilitator, Partners Worldwide

Rudy Headshot

Rudy Carrasco served for two decades in an incarnational urban youth ministry in the Los Angeles metro. His work in applying private charity principles among the urban poor has been covered by Christianity Today (Where Faith and Culture Meet DVD series) and the Heritage Foundation (Seek Social Justice DVD series). Articles by and about Carrasco have appeared in Discipleship JournalPasadena Star-News, and Outreach Magazine. He's an advisory board member of the Christian Community Development Association and a board member of World Vision U.S. He lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Anne Rathbone Bradley, Ph.D.

Vice President of Economic Initiatives, The Institute for Faith, Work and Economics

Rathbone Bradley Headshot

Anne Rathbone Bradley, Ph.D. is the vice president of economic initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics, where she develops and commissions research toward a systematic biblical theology of economic freedom. She is a visiting professor at Georgetown University and has previously taught at George Mason University and at Charles University, Prague. She is currently a visiting scholar at the Bernard Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy. She served as the associate director for the program in economics, politics, and the law at the James M. Buchanan Center at George Mason University.


Conference Fee and Covered Expenses

There is no conference fee for the leaders in urban ministry selected to attend the conference, and no fee to apply.

Lodging (for out of town participants) and meals for the duration of the conference will be arranged and paid for by the Acton Institute.

A financial aid request is included in the application form for those in need of travel assistance to and from the conference. Travel funding is limited.

Application Process and Conference Fee

The conference is limited to pastors and urban ministry practitioners in the Pacific NW region of the United States (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington). Though there is no required deposit to attend, all confirmed participants commit to participating fully in the event.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and responses can be expected in 10 to 14 days.

Conference Dates and Location

March 23-25, 2017
Cedarbrook Lodge
Seattle (SeaTac), Washington

Participants should arrive at the hotel in time to check-in, register, and attend the opening reception at 5:45pm. Lodging, for out of town participants, and meals for the duration of the conference will be paid for by the Acton Institute.

Reasons to Attend

Network: Explore solutions to today’s critical issues with pastors, non-profit practitioners and other community development leaders from around the country.

Knowledge: Expand your personal “idea bank” through dialogue in economics, leadership, and the dignity of the human person.

Resources: Connect conference content to provided tools and resources for use in your own continuing ministry.

Capacity: Grow in the effectiveness and transformative capacity of your work by exploring ideas both in alignment and in tension with what you see happening in your ministry and community.

Event Details

Start Date


Cedarbrook Lodge
18525 26th Avenue South
SeaTac, WA 98188
United States

Length of Event
3 days

March 23-25, 2017

Thursday 3pm Check-in | Saturday Noon- Departure

Cedarbrook Lodge | SeaTac (Seattle), Washington 


View a sample schedule of events here:


Contact us at (616)454-3080 or

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