Back, left to right: Babasola Fateye, Philip Tabler, Trey Tirpak, Steffani Bates, Nathaniel L. Carter, Jr., Tricia Bosma, Thomas Schliep, Adam Ramirez, Lyonel LaGrone, Jr., Desiree McCray. Front, left to right: Mary Li Ma, Timothy Music.

Sacred Sector announces 2019 Sacred Sector Fellows

Seminarians to learn and apply nonprofit best practices at Midwest
faith-based organizations

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — This month the Center for Public Justice (CPJ) welcomed a group of 12 seminarians as part of the Sacred Sector Fellowship. The program kicked off with a five-day intensive in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Following the intensive, Fellows will apply what they learned, acting as implementation coaches for a number of faith-based organizations located throughout the Midwest.

Sacred Sector Fellowship is an initiative of CPJ, a Christian civic education and public policy organization. The week of training included seminars led by Sacred Sector Director and Acting CEO of CPJ Chelsea Langston Bombino, Sacred Sector Program Manager Virginia Creasy, Founder and Senior Director of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance Stanley Carlson-Thies, Gatherings of Hope Senior Program Officer Khary Bridgewater, Urban Church Leadership Center Director Julian Guzman, Standards for Excellence Institute Director Amy Coates Madsen, and 2018 Sacred Sector Fellow and Public Justice Review Editor Kerwin Webb.

Sacred Sector Fellowship equips current or recently-graduated seminarians with the skills and experience to lead within the faith-based nonprofit sector. The program provides emerging leaders with a holistic framework to integrate and fully embody their sacred missions in every area of non-profit governance. Fellows receive training in public policy, organizational best practices, and strategic positioning.

“I am eager to see what this year’s cohort will accomplish. Our Fellows are diverse in their experiences, goals and missions for the future,” said Chelsea Langston Bombino, Director of the Sacred Sector and Acting CEO of CPJ. “I am confident that this year’s cohort will be equipped to strengthen the faith-based nonprofit sector, and I am hopeful that our curriculum will help them further their vocational callings.”

Sacred Sector Fellowship welcomes the following seminarians as members of its 2019 cohort:

Steffani Bates, Anderson University School of Theology
Tricia Bosma, Calvin Theological Seminary
Nathaniel L. Carter, Jr., Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Babasola Fateye, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary
Lyonel LaGrone, Jr., Northeastern Seminary
Mary Li Ma, Calvin Theological Seminary
Desiree McCray, Princeton Theological Seminary
Timothy Music, Ohio Christian University
Adam Ramirez, Calvin Theological Seminary
Thomas Schliep, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary
Philip Tabler, Ohio Christian University
Trey Tirpak, Western Theological Seminary

This summer, fellows will spend nine weeks working with a faith-based non-profit in the greater Midwest region where they will apply what they have learned in training. Working as implementation coaches, fellows will target areas for growth and work to equip faith-based organizations to embody their sacred mission in every area of their organizational life. Hosting organizations include World Mission; the African Resource Center of West Michigan; Congregational Church of Manor Park, UCC; Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan; The Banner (magazine); This Generation Connect; Hands of Faith; St. Vincent Hospital; The Colossian Forum; Habitat for Humanity; Reformed Church in America and Plainsong Farm.

A unique part of the Fellowship includes special resources from Standards for Excellence®, a national initiative that promotes ethical practices and accountability in the non-profit sector. The Center for Public Justice, through Sacred Sector, is a replication partner of the Standards for Excellence® program. The Standards for Excellence code covers the following areas of nonprofit operations: Mission, Strategy and Evaluation, Leadership Board, Staff and Volunteers, Legal Compliance and Ethics, Finance and Operations, Resource Development, and Public Awareness, Engagement and Advocacy.

CPJ launched the Sacred Sector initiative in 2018, which was made possible through the support of a grant from Templeton Religion Trust. In addition to the Fellowship, Sacred Sector also runs a six-month learning community for faith-based nonprofits called Sacred Sector Community.


Sacred Sector, an initiative of the Center for Public Justice, is a learning community for faith-based organizations and emerging leaders within the faith-based nonprofit sector that seek to integrate and fully embody their sacred missions in every area of organizational life.

The Center for Public Justice is an independent, nonpartisan organization devoted to policy research and civic education. Working outside the familiar categories of right and left, conservative and liberal, we seek to help citizens and public officeholders respond to God's call to do justice.

Sacred Sector was made possible through the support of a grant from Templeton Religion Trust. The opinions expressed in this press release are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Templeton Religion Trust.



Meg Henry
[email protected]
(202) 491-8025