The Damascus Project

An initiative of the Wisconsin and Minnesota Conferences to transform and equip spiritual leaders for a changing world and church

What is The Damascus Project?

Go to The Damascus Project website to learn more.

We transform and equip people to navigate a changing world and guide a changing church.

The Damascus Project equips lay and staff leaders, spiritual seekers, members in discernment, and clergy to navigate a changing world and a changing church. Inspired by the story of Paul’s transformation on the road to Damascus, we are offer fresh ways to prepare God’s people for faithful living and for ministries of healing, justice and transformation.

What makes The Damascus Project different?

  • Our learning experiences imagine new and relevant ways to equip God’s people to explore questions of faith and gain tools for ministry. We are an answer for any leader who has ever uttered the words, “They never taught me that.”
  • We ground courses in the wisdom of the Christian tradition, incorporating an outcome-based, action-reflection model of teaching and learning. The goal is to grow and deepen in faith and develop tools and competencies for ministries of all kinds.
  • Our high-quality courses are specifically designed to be delivered online and taught by instructors who are experts in their fields.
  • Registration in a course includes membership in The Damascus Project Network, the platform for delivering course content and information, as well as the place to connect with a growing community of learners.

We serve a wide range of spiritual leaders and seekers.

  • Clergy & Licensed Pastors: Do you want to energize congregational generosity, explore leadership practices of transformational and adaptive leaders, or understand how COVID-19 has impacted mental and spiritual health? The Damascus Project is for you!
  • Lay Leaders & Seekers: Are you looking for affordable, relevant, high-quality leadership development? Learning opportunities for spiritual grounding and growth? Support for a rural congregation that cannot afford seminary training, ordained clergy? The Damascus Project is for you!
  • Members-in-Discernment: Are you looking for courses aligned with the United Church of Christ’s Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers or opportunities to engage with and learn from colleagues around issues of importance in a rapidly changing world? The Damascus Project is for you!
  • Church Staff: Are you looking for leadership development that is accessible from home or the office or ways to deal with critical issues, such as a lack of time to design an adult faith formation program? The Damascus Project is for you!

We are responding to a changing world.
Mainline Protestant Christian churches and the Christian faith itself are undergoing significant transformation, at a pace that is rapid and often confusing. The Damascus Project is responding by providing faith and leadership growth opportunities grounded in the Christian faith and responsive to current-day realities.

We are responding to a changing church.
The Damascus Project is also a response to a decline in the number of congregations and church members. More and more local congregations, especially those in rural areas, cannot afford seminary-trained, ordained clergy, yet these communities deserve high-quality leadership. We believe that we will find that leadership in everyday people of faith stepping into pastoral roles, in clergy who have one foot in ministry and one foot in another field, and in individuals who pursue a non-traditional path to authorized ministry. We seek to provide the resources and training they deserve to be the leaders God is calling them to be.

The Damascus Project is not a seminary or accredited educational institution. We do not grant degrees. However, our learning opportunities are theologically sound, academically rich, and spiritually engaging. To the extent that they are rooted in the UCC’s Marks for Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers, they may also serve as a resource along a person’s journey toward ministry authorization (licensure or ordination). Granting of ministerial authorization is not the role or purview of The Damascus Project. Those interested in ministerial authorization must engage with the Committee on Ministry in their conference or association.


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Contact Us

(608) 846-7880