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Neighborhood Seminary's Pursuit of Cultivating Shalom

Neighborhood Seminary brings the love of God to the home, school, neighborhood, workplace, and world.

  • Our vision is for God’s liberating, reconciling, forgiving, and healing love to become flesh and blood and move into the neighborhood through the church.

  • Our method reflects a new, holistic vision of theological education in which all God’s people learn together through both online and contextual in-person engagement and are called to participate in God's mission in the neighborhood.

  • Our curriculum moves from imago dei (the image of God) to missio dei (the mission of God) and returns repeatedly to God’s loving work in and for the neighborhoods of our world.

  • Our goal is to seamlessly integrate theological, spiritual, and missional formation for head, heart, and hands and to partner with God in the way of making all things new in the neighborhoods we call home.

Neighborhood is that essential space where we “live, move, and have our being.”

We believe that God intends for neighborhoods to flourish and become beloved communities in which all people thrive. We are convinced that a seminary should be a place of theological reflection, spiritual formation, and missional engagement. Each of these critical elements shapes and is shaped by the others holistically. We seek both to explore and to embody the central features of life lived in and for God, including our common quest for peace, justice, and equity in our world. Three pursuits, in particular,

support the culture and curriculum of Neighborhood Seminary: nurturing community,

embodying good news, and cultivating shalom. Today, we will look more closely at cultivating shalom.

Guiding Scripture: "Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood ... Look! I'm making everything new" (Rev 12:3; 5 MSG)!

Key Theological Concepts: God is for and with all people and is at work at all times as the ultimate source of reconciliation and healing. God invites all God’s children to partner in this sacred calling, to bring life from death and to breathe new life into the old through the Spirit. God in Christ is making all things new.

Key Missional Practices: We partner with God as co-creators in the work of healing, liberating, and transforming neighborhoods and celebrating God’s rule in the beloved community. We cultivate shalom by seeking to dismantle racism, sexism, classism, and all other sinful attitudes, behaviors, and systems that create barriers to peace, justice, and the well-being of all people.

Key Spiritual Practices: Lectio creatio (creative reading) opens our lives to the goodness, beauty, and love that surrounds us at all times. Visio divina (sacred seeing) opens our hearts and imaginations to what God might have to say to us today. These practices cultivate a heart of peace and enable us to celebrate the inbreaking of the new, filling us with wonder, love, and praise.

Talk with us and share where you see the need for shalom in your neighborhood and ideas that you have about cultivating it.

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