Church & Society

Scholar Leaders believes that the visionary women and men in our fellowship are uniquely gifted by God to confront the greatest challenges of our day.

Scholar Leaders believes that the visionary women and men in our fellowship are uniquely gifted by God to confront the greatest challenges of our day.

They are salt and light amidst the world’s greatest darkness. Therefore, Church & Society program partners with these leaders to enable them to engage these sorts of evil, believing Jesus’ promise that not even the gates of hell would prevail against his Church (Matt. 16:18).

Practical and Theological Response in Ukraine

Within days of Russia’s invasion, seminaries responded to the crisis with immediate action. They evacuated people fleeing violence, offered shelter to refugees as they moved toward safety, provided food, medicine, and humanitarian aid to those who came to their campuses. By the end of March, ten seminary hubs, supported by the Ukrainian Relief Fund administered by Scholar Leaders and Overseas Council, provided coordinated care and shared the resources to ensure each center received the kind of support to best support their work. By the end of 2022, the coordinated work of the seminary hubs had provided care for nearly half a million people. 

Destroyed building in Ukrane
leadership group image

However, even in the first days of uncertainty in the war, the schools knew that the war would have a deep impact on the church and began to make plans to meet the changing needs of the church as it ministers to a society impacted by war. To that end, SL joined with this group of seminary leaders with a three-pronged approach in response to the atrocity of the invasion.

  1. Work with individual schools, using a modified approach from the Vital Sustainability Initiative to help them reset their immediate missional priorities while keeping long term viability in mind.
  2. Help establish a new alliance of schools in Ukraine and surrounding nations to provide support, encouragement, accreditation, and a voice after the previous association had to be dissolved because of the war.
  3. Work with three research teams to provide insight for the church as it ministers in a time of war. Their topics include:
    • Developing a theology of citizenship that rightly supports their country without becoming nationalistic;
    • Care for individuals with disabilities caused by the war (tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians have lost limbs during the war),
    • The role of hospitality in reconciliation among Ukrainians impacted by the war. Their research will provide curriculum for seminaries and practical materials for use by churches.

No More

The No More project draws together dozens of theological leaders to address the evil of sexual misconduct (specifically, abuse, harassment, and assault) in churches and seminaries around the world.

Sexual misconduct is one of the greatest threats to the credibility of Christianity today, as abuse of adults and children destroy lives and poison evangelistic efforts. The findings of the investigations undertaken by the Southern Baptist Convention provide another spate of examples of a phenomenon that has been happening in churches and even seminaries across the globe. High profile cases of sexual misconduct abound, from pastors (Bill Hybels) to apologists (Ravi Zacharias) to theologians (John Howard Yoder). While we hear about it frequently in the US, it is likewise widespread in the Majority World.

Therefore, the No More project aims:

  • To cultivate healthy interpersonal relationships in seminaries and churches.
  • To help prevent sexually inappropriate relations in seminaries and churches.
  • To foster the establishment of frameworks to take decisive action on behalf of victims when misconduct does occur, and to offer support to those victims as well.