Innovation

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Chrismons ornament: Pelican in her Piety

This Chrismons ornament is called "Pelican in Her Piety." It's part of a series representing the seasons of Christmas and Lent called the "Christian Year Series," designed by Frances Spencer, who created the first Chrismon tree in 1957. Photos by Jessamyn Rubio

Meredith Williams: We are people who ...

Chrismons -- white and gold ornaments representing the story of Christ -- are part of the identity of the Lutheran congregation in Virginia where they originated six decades ago.

A design team brainstorms together.

Bigstock / Ammentorp

Dave Odom: Design comes to church

In a time when congregations are customizing or developing their own events and services, all church leaders are designers. The design process centers around questions about audience and needs, writes the executive director of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.

The Rev. Faith Fowler stands in front of the first of 25 new tiny homes that will be built in Detroit by Cass Community Social Services. Photo by Diane Weiss 

A Detroit pastor and her church are building something big with tiny homes

As both pastor and nonprofit executive director, the Rev. Faith Fowler is known for her outreach to the poor. Her latest effort: a village of tiny homes that will allow people to become stakeholders in their neighborhood and in their city.

Bigstock / Igor Stevanovic

Victoria Atkinson White: What is innovation?

Innovation doesn’t have to be huge to be worthwhile. It can be a small experiment, a risk that won’t harm your institution but has the potential for measurable gain, writes the managing director of grants at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.

Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta calls itself a "maker community." Students from preschool to high school learn by solving problems and building prototypes. Photos courtesy of Mount Vernon Presbyterian School

Christian school embraces design thinking to help form creative, empathetic citizens

Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta wasn't satisfied with only changing its physical space and teaching methods. School leaders also created a nonprofit institute to encourage other educators to adopt the model.  

Muslims and Christians in Chicago generate new ideas for working together on the environment. Photos by Dan Davis Photography

Experiment in interfaith relations brings Muslims and Christians together not just to talk, but to act

Using a novel approach borrowed from the tech world, Christians and Muslims come together, coupling words and actions in pursuit of a shared concern: finding a way to make the world a greener place.  

Image by Cristi180884

Divine innovation: How is God making all things new?

This curriculum set, including four visual poems, lesson plans and resource guides, invites your small group to consider God’s creative work in our daily lives -- even in the midst of limitation, lamentation, harm and mess.

Rabbi Jeremy Simons Skypes with a bat mitzvah student to help prepare her for her coming-of-age ceremony. Photo courtesy of the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life

Mississippi institute is an anchor for Jewish communities in the South

By blending new technology with traditional methods such as circuit-riding clergy, the Institute of Southern Jewish Life helps form young people in faith even in places where the community has disappeared.

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Traditioned Innovation

Leadership Education at Duke Divinity teaches a way of thinking that holds the past and future in tension, not in opposition.
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