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Where are we?

Learn more about the Missio Madison cohort experience.


Interested in joining an upcoming cohort? Apply or contact us via the buttons below.


Find out about who is leading this experience.

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Missio Madison is a cohort training experience for local missional practitioners. We exist to provide a community in which followers of Jesus can collaboratively exegete our place--Madison--and discern God's call into fresh forms of Christian community and mission.  Our vision is to cultivate a community of local ecumenical kinship, discernment and collaboration. 


The 2023-24 Missio cohorts will gather monthly from 10-2pm on the second Friday from September to April for training and conversation. Participants will also meet monthly with a team coach and other fellows to share stories and discern the Spirit's invitations. In October and March, regular gatherings will be replaced by a two-day retreats for community-building and discernment (10/2/3, 3/8-9) Altogether, including reading and regular local experiments, fellows will invest 10 hours per month into this experience.


Missio Madison fellows:

  • cultivate sustaining friendships among peers in local ministry and mission

  • build relationships with coaches and context experts

  • discover fresh practices of prayer and dwelling in scripture

  • form habits of deep engagement in and reflection on Madison as a context for mission

  • identify and develop skills for leading new missional initiatives

  • foster an ecclesial environment of ecumenical friendship and collaboration

Since Spring 2020, thirty-five missional practitioners--pastors, ministry directors, elders, interns, and non-profit leaders--have participated in Missio Madison from nearly as many different local churches. Fellows' churches reflect the wide range of Christian traditions in Greater Madison including non-denominational, United Methodist, Assemblies of God, United Church of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran, Independent Christian, Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Free, Wesleyan, Episcopal and Mennonite. 


For 2023-24, we will have two cohorts. These two cohorts will be focused on local engagement on Madison's North side and East side, respectively. We anticipate offering cohorts in other regions in coming years. Applications for Fall 2023-Spring 2024 cohorts will open April 2024.

Missio Madison is an initiative of University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in partnership with Collaboration Project and is made possible by the generous support of the Lilly Endowment.

What is MM?

The American church is in the midst of a period of great contextual change, and through the eyes of faith, believers affirm that God is in the midst, actively engaged with human history and by the Spirit is inviting the church to join the "new thing" that God is doing.

Christopher James

Church Planting in Post-Christian Soil

What our Fellows are saying

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I developed more comfort with taking risks around discovering what God's already doing in our community. And I am more confident of my call to join God in the neighborhood. I'm also encouraged by the movement of the Spirit so clearly evident amongst those in our cohort from diverse denominations.

My missio experience helped me grow beyond my stereotypes about my  siblings in Christ of other traditions. Building real relationships with others is a powerful tool for bridging differences.

It's given me more confidence to reach out to staff and lay leaders at my church to invite, question and challenge things when I feel a nudge from the Spirit. Specifically, my coaching team really helped me to feel more bold in my role as a ministry leader at my church as well as in my community.


Adam Clausen

Adam is Senior Leader of Life Center--which has been called the most diverse church in Madison. He co-founded and co-leads a grassroots community organizing effort called the Southeast Community Network that consists of over 30 member agencies that serve some of the most vulnerable neighborhoods in southeast Madison.

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Sr. Lynne Smith

Sr. Lynne Smith, OSB is a member of the Benedictine Women of Holy Wisdom Monastery, whom she serves as the director of monastic ritual & formation team.

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Pastor Charles Yu

Pastor Yu is pastor of multicultural ministry and theology at Blackhawk Church and holds a Ph.D. in Hebrew and Semitics from UW-Madison.

Our Team


Christopher James

Executive Director

Chris is the author of Church Planting in Post-Christian Soil (Oxford University Press, 2017), a study of church plants in Seattle, WA. He is professor of evangelism and missional Christianity at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and holds degrees from Boston University, Fuller Seminary & Wheaton College. Chris serves helps lead Madison Learning Community and Awaken Dane. He is an ordained Minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).


Christina Roberts

North Side Cohort Leader

Christina is a spiritual director and co-founder of Foundry Spiritual Center. Drawing on her 20+ years as a pastor and church planter, Christina also serves as a coach for Awaken Dane and a retreat facilitator for clergy and lay leaders. She is an oblate at Holy Wisdom Monastery, co-hosts The Contemplative Life Podcast and intentionally seeks ways to be a good neighbor in the local community. She and her family live on the North Side of Madison.

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Jon Anderson

East Side Cohort Leader

Jon is the Executive Director of Collaboration Project, which celebrates and accelerates collaboration between churches for the flourishing of Dane County. Prior to launching CoPro in 2019, Jon served in two large Madison churches over a period of twenty years, during which time he co-founded the Kingdom Justice Summit. Jon and his family live in Monona.

Our Guest Faculty

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Rev. Dr. Alex Gee

Dr. Gee is Lead Pastor of Fountain of Life Church, president and founder of the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development and its renowned initiative, Justified Anger.. Dr. Gee has started five successful companies and initiatives and his podcast --Black Like Me--was awarded as Wisconsin's favorite podcast for 2020.

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Phil Haslinger

Phil was a journalist for The Capital Times for 26-years , serving as a reporter, city editor, editorial page editor and managing editor. He was recently inducted into the Wisconsin Journalism Hall of Fame. He retired from a second act as a UCC minister in Fitchburg but he remains very active in the community.


Rev. Kerri Parker

Rev. Parker is executive director of the Wisconsin Council of Churches and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.

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Myra McNair

Myra McNair is Executive Director of Anesis Therapy, a psychotherapist and LMFT. She has received the NAMI Dane County Mental Health Trailblazer award, the Black Chamber of Commerce Eagle Award, and the Wisconsin Alliance on Infant Mental Health Spirit award.


Adam Clausen

Adam is Senior Leader of Life Center - which some have called the most diverse church in Dane County. He is also the co-founder of a grassroots community organizing effort called the Southeast Community Network.

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Sr. Lynne Smith

Sr. Lynne is a member of the Benedictine Women at Holy Wisdom Monastery and serves the community as director of monastic ritual & formation team coordinator. Prior to joining, she served congregations for 15 years as an ordained minister in the PC(USA).

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Rev. Dr. Marcus Allen

Rev. Dr. Allen is senior pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and the President of the African American Council of Churches in Madison. He holds a Doctor of Ministry and is the author of I Got Next: Ten Essential Lessons for an Effective Pastoral Transition

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Abbie Sawczak

Abbie is pastor of New Culture Church and Director of Chi Alpha Madison on the campus of UW-Madison.

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Pastor Charles Yu

Pastor Yu is pastor of multicultural ministry and theology at Blackhawk Church and holds a Ph.D. in Hebrew and Semitics from UW-Madison.

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Stephen Feith

Stephen is Pastor of Madison Church and leader of Activate Madison. He is also author of Uprising: The Epistle of Jude.

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Pat Seigler

Pat is co-pastor of Common Grace and pastor of Zion Lutheran Church (ELCA).

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Staci Marrese-Wheeler

Staci is co-pastor of Common Grace, and  pastor of Lakeview Moravian Church.


Dr. Kurt Paulsen

Dr. Paulsen is professor of urban planning in the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture at UW–Madison. In addition to academic articles, he has authored two Dane County housing needs assessments.

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Dr. Ruben Anthony

Dr. Anthony is President and CEO at Urban League of Greater Madison and a Deacon at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. He holds a Ph.D. in urban development from UW-Milwaukee.

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Jon Dahl

Jon Dahl is a senior member of the campus staff at InterVarsity where he has worked with Graduate Student and Faculty ministry for 25+ years. He is also a board member at Upper House.


Carrie Sanders

Carrie Sanders is CEO and founder of Hope Community Capital, focused on developing sustainable, equitable and thriving communities.


Craig Robertson

Craig Robertson is the Senior Pastor of New Crossing Church in Sun Prairie, and founder of the MP3 Madison Pastors Network.

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Kate Mackey

Coach - East Side

Kate is an alum of Missio Madison and ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She currently serves as Associate Pastor for Pastor for Children, Youth & Families at Orchard Ridge UCC. Formerly she served as Chaplain at Mendota Mental Health Institute and as Associate Pastor of Spiritual Care and Development at People's United Methodist Church in Oregon, WI. She is a graduate of UW-Madison and  holds an M.Div from Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.


Chris Roberts

Coach - North Side

Chris grew up as a pastor's kid and eventually became a pastor and church planter, so he understands the church world well. He currently serves as a spiritual director & contemplative musician with Foundry Spiritual Center. His passion to know and love his neighbors led him to become a part-time school bus driver, where he is known around town as "Captain Red Beard" among his students.  


Originally from Texas, he enjoys spicy foods, playing guitar, listening to music, and spending time in nature (both solo and with his wife and 3 kids).

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Marcio Sierra


Marcio is Senior Pastor of Lighthouse Church and Schools. He co-leads the bi-lingual congregation with his wife, Tia. Marcio serves on the Boards of Collaboration Project, Care Net, and the Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce.


Our Growing Missio Madison Fellows Community

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