Learn more about the Missio Madison cohort experience.


We're taking applications for the 2020 beta cohort now.


Find out about who is leading this experience.


Missio Madison is a cohort training experience for local missional practioners. 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.  Launching in January 2020, the Missio Madison cohort will gather monthly on the fourth Friday (noon-4pm) through April for training and conversation. Participants will also meet monthly with a coach and two other participants to lean in to their growing edges. In addition, the cohort will experience an overnight retreat for spiritual renewal and discernment March 23-24, 2020.


Missio Madison participants will:

  • 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 mission context

  • encounter a range of missional models and examples to fuel creativity and innovation

  • foster an ecclesial environment of ecumenical friendship and partnership

  • identify and develop the skills needed for leading new missional initiatives


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

Applications for the 2020 Spring beta cohort are due November 22, 2019.


The Missio Madison Team

Executive Director

Rev. Dr. Christopher James

Chris is the author of Church Planting in Post-Christian Soil (Oxford University Press, 2017), a groundbreaking study of church plants in Seattle, WA - one of the most progressive, technological & post-Christian cities in the nation. He is associate professor of Evangelism and Missional Christianity at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and holds degrees from Boston University, Fuller Seminary & Wheaton College. Chris directs the Dane Churches Project, a study underway with international partners in other post-Christian Western cities including Amsterdam, Vancouver BC, & Frankfurt.  He and his wife, Lindsay, share the joy of raising two zesty kids. 


Jon Anderson

Jon has been serving as a pastor in the Madison area for twenty years. He has a passion for serving the local church and encouraging the church as they serve the most vulnerable. Jon is the founder and Executive Director of Collaboration Project, a new non-profit that exists to foster collaboration between churches for the good of Madison.  He also helped launch Madison Missions, a Madison-focused youth service camp and co-founded the Kingdom Justice Summit which brings together hundreds of people from dozens of churches around Christianity and justice in our city. Jon and his wife, Mary, have 3 kids and enjoy getting outside as much as possible.


Christina Roberts

Christina is a church planter and co-lead pastor of foundry414 in Madison, started in 2009.  She is also a spiritual director and oblate of Holy Wisdom Monastery. As a certified spiritual coach, Christina has worked with multiple cohorts of church planters and church leaders across the US and Europe.  In addition to spiritual coaching, Christina leads contemplative retreats, offers spiritual direction & co-hosts the Blue Ocean World podcast.  She and her husband, Chris, live on the Northside of Madison with their 3 kids who keep life fun and lively. 

Program Director

Rev. Dr. Karen Nelson

Karen is a trained clergy coach and spiritual director and serves as the Program Director for the Lilly-funded Thriving in Ministry initiatives at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary.  Karen served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church for 23 years and holds MDiv and Doctor of Ministry degrees.  She has served as a Field Outreach Minister, resourcing and training churches and pastors. Karen is passionate about the church and it is her desire to see its leaders thrive!