Good morning everyone!
Folks here at McCormick don’t just work here or study here, we also do other things! One of our professors, Deb Kapp, our Urban Ministry guru, has just started her own blog on, what else?! Urban Ministry! It’s called Footloose:Thoughts on Urban Ministry. So, I sat down with Deb about her blog and what she’s up to with it. Here’s what she had to say:
Tell us your name, title and what you teach here.
Deborah Kapp, Edward F. and Phyllis K. Campbell Associate Professor of Urban Ministry. I teach Urban Ministry and congregational leadership (mostly – but not exclusively – I teach the latter in the DMin program).
What made you want to start a blog?
I wanted to get some ideas into the urban conversation, and involve urban practitioners in thinking about some key dynamics of ministry in urban settings. I thought of trying to write a book about the ideas I’m interested in exploring, but then I thought that blogging might actually be a better way to share ideas, hear responses, and get some interchange going.
What do you think is the importance of doing a blog like this?
Well, that’s a good question. I’m not sure I know. I think that is part of what I will discover.
What exactly is the definition of “urban ministry?”
Ministry that takes place in an urban setting. Urban settings have large populations, dense concentrations of people, lots of heterogeneity, and lots of mobility. People and organizations function somewhat differently, I think, in the midst of the density and mobility, which is part of what I’m trying to explore in this blog.
How exactly does one ‘do’ urban ministry?
That’s another good question and there is not a single answer, or even a few good ones. There are, literally, dozens of ways to do urban ministry well. Depending on one’s ecclesiology, population, context, resources (or lack thereof), and imagination, one good urban ministry can look quite different from another.
What are some of the ways that students in the city can become involved in urban ministry here in Chicago?
One could (1) attend church regularly and get involved in a faith community and its ministry, (2) volunteer at various service agencies throughout the city, (3) get involved in some community or other organizing in the city.
How did you get into ministry yourself?
My pull to ministry was both intellectual and personal. I was always interested in religion and majored in religious studies in college—what could one do with that sort of degree except go to school again? Probably more formative was my experience with the church as a young person; the institutional church was a source of steadiness and strength to me at a couple different points in my life.
What do you get out of your own ministry?
Deep satisfaction, wonderful friendships, the privilege of sharing life with others, and a persistent intellectual challenge. It’s never boring.
Well, there you have it good people. Just one more way that our faculty and staff are reaching out to the broader community and encouraging the students to do the same!
Until next time!