Helping churches participate in building thriving communities

About me

My vision is simple: Jesus followers are indispensable members of communities where all can thrive. Getting there? Perhaps not so simple! My current project, “Jesus on Main Street“, equips church leaders and church planters to bring the healing effects of the gospel to local economies. Building on my PhD in Urban Studies and an MBA , I bring the following knowledge domains and specializations within reach of churches, denominations, and faith-based organizations: reimagining religious spaces, community economic development, neighborhood change (gentrification, poverty, segregation). I keep sharp teaching community and economic development courses at Portland State as an Adjunct Professor, and am also a Fellow at the Ormond Center at Duke Divinity School.

Reimagining Religious Spaces (RRS): I help churches reimagine and repurpose buildings and property to support community thriving. I have performed extensive research in this area, and work with churches to create community-informed strategies. This includes helping denominations and funding organizations determine the size and direction of opportunity for RRS in their geography.

Community economic development: I work with churches to bring good news to local economies with tools including: microbusinesses, makerspaces, business incubators, worker cooperatives, workforce development, commercial district revitalization, locality development, anchor institutions, and accountable development. I lead churches through a robust assessment and planning process developed specifically for churches to create a collaborative CED strategy rooted in God’s love for people and justice. 

Neighborhood change, poverty, and gentrification: My doctoral research explored the ties between churches and neighborhoods. I help churches and faith-based organizations understand the complex forces at working in creating neighborhood change, and how they can create change so that entire communities can thrive.

Research and data-driven insights: I have worked with a wide variety of data sets and designed and implemented numerous research projects. My experience as a Product Manager enables me to develop customer-oriented perspectives and insights. I am thereby able to help churches and faith-based organizations develop strategies rooted in research and data-driven insights.

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Training & Advisory Services

I equip churches to bring healing, equity, and resiliency to their local economies using principles developed in Jesus on Main Street. I provide training and assessment services to build a church’s capacity to participate in long-term community economic development. I also provide training on drivers of neighborhood change, and the potential impacts that churches can have on processes such as gentrification and affordable housing.

Customized Community Assessments

I provide data-driven analysis to help churches understand the history and current state of their neighborhood, its assets, and potential areas of concern.  I teach church leaders how to do their own community assessments, integrated with their real-world knowledge and observation.

Strategy Development/ Research

I work with senior leaders to incorporate social science scholarship, research, and practice into theologically rooted strategies. I draw on my expertise in community development, economic development, urban studies, poverty, and neighborhood change to create God-honoring strategies and programs that are rooted in research and scholarship.

Fractional Chief of Research

As a fractional executive, I provide denominations and faith-based organizations with dedicated and flexible leadership in the areas of research and insights, data-driven strategy development, and evaluation.