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Urban Cohort Student Completes Faith-Based Civic Education and Nonprofit Leadership Training as a Sacred Sector Fellow

News Sept. 27, 2019

A 2019 Sacred Sector Fellow, Thomas Schliep participated in a 10-week program for seminarians and recent theological school graduates. One of 12 seminarians in Sacred Sector’s second annual cohort, Schliep committed the summer months to learning alongside student representatives from institutions such as Indiana University, Ohio Christian University, Calvin Theological Seminary, Northeastern Seminary and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

“As a fellow, I hope to better understand the New Testament pattern of biblical justice and its contemporary application,” Schliep said. “I also look forward to learning from and working with organizations within the Grand Rapids community who are engaged with this most basic of New Testament directives.”

Established in 2018 by the Center for Public Justice and a grant from the Templeton Religion Trust, Sacred Sector connects aspiring nonprofit leaders and faith-based organizations with regional learning opportunities, immersive service experiences and other civic engagement resources to help organizations maximize their impact in local communities.

After five days of in-person training on topics related to public policy, organizational best practices and public positioning, Schliep spent nine weeks as a consultant with The Colossian Forum, a nonprofit organization based in Grand Rapids, Mich. He utilized his knowledge of small business marketing, operations and administration to complete an organizational assessment, identify growth opportunities for the ministry, lead efforts to implement two recommendations based on his findings and present the results to his cohort.

“The initiative’s focus on public policy and public positioning are of highest interest to me,” Schliep concluded. “Through these, I anticipate a clearer direction in integrating my experiences and skill set. As part of my long-term ministry goals, I hope to guide efforts for equality, peace and patience within the heart of the body of Christ.”

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