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Why We’re Publishing “Another Way”

The Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) is one of the church’s unsung heroes. Since 1954, FTE has been cultivating a diverse pool of quality leaders for Christian ministry and theological scholarship. Connecting those aspiring pastors and teachers with the field’s luminaries, creating relationships that have strengthened the church in countless ways, FTE is a model for what the church can become[1].

That vision is what compelled Chalice Press to invite FTE into a publishing partnership that would spotlight emerging Christian leaders. FTE’s work with bold, diverse young adults in ministry and theological educators of color was a perfect fit for our growing reputation as the go-to source for progressive Christian inspiration and education. Working with Dori Grinenko Baker, Stephen Lewis, and Matthew Wesley Williams[2], FTE and Chalice have published three books (below), with two additional books in the works. All along, Stephen, Matthew, and Dori worked on a fourth book focused on FTE’s unique approach to developing leaders who create change in their communities, the world, and themselves.

This month, we are proud and honored to share Another Way: Living and Leading Change on Purpose, the result of the FTE team’s hard work and a foreword by noted theologian, author, and activist Parker J. Palmer.

As they crafted their book, the authors wrote for:

  • An individual who aspires to discover a life of meaning and purpose, figuring it out for the first time, or once again,
  • A guide or facilitator who, by role or by nature, helps others discover meaning and purpose,
  • A leader of an organization who wrestles with how to create lasting and positive change in your context.
  • Those who don’t want to go it alone, who crave community to make their work better and more uplifting.

Another Way helps potential leaders of faith communities discern what they are called to do while training them to lead in ways that cast church leadership in a new light. Their work is framed by the acronym CARE:

C = Create hospitable space
A = Ask self-awakening questions
R = Reflect theologically together
E = Enact the next most faithful step

    This approach has worked consistently in a variety of settings, with a variety of participants. “People who experience CARE-infused leadership sink into their honest selves and experience a mysterious relatedness among strangers,” the introduction reads. “They come up out of a session led with CARE principles feeling changed, empowered, and able to take a next step. It is an effect at once deeply familiar and countercultural. It has a stickiness that reverberates in the communities to which people return. When we see it happening, we are reminded that people are built to experience community, to find joy in one another, and to create a better world out of a deep reservoir where the soul resides.”

    The most powerful stories we can tell are stories we experienced ourselves, and the best advice we can give is based on our own successes and failures. Another Way shares how the authors worked to keep the organization aligned with its values, strategic direction, and mission. You’re getting an inside look at how a non-profit transformed from the people who led the movement. Someday you may need to find a new outlook on leadership, on following, on working together, and Another Way gives you a successful, tested method on how to change the culture of an organization through those CARE principles.

    If you read with an open heart and a critical eye, Another Way can help identify how you yourself can change for the better, living with purpose and discovering a more satisfying connection to your communities. Amen.

    Brad Lyons
    President and Publisher

     The Forum for Theological Exploration books:

    Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community

    by Leah Gunning Francis 


    Stakes Is High: Race, Faith, and Hope for America

    by Michael W. Waters


    Nobody Cries When We Die: God, Community, and Surviving to Adulthood

    by Patrick B. Reyes



    Order copies of Another Way here:


    [1] Learn more about FTE’s history on their website.

    [2] Lewis is FTE’s president, Williams was Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, and Baker is the Senior Fellow. In 2019, Williams became interim president of the Interdenominational Theological Center.


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