Learn more about the Missio Madison cohort experience.


We'll begin taking applications for the Fall 2020 cohort this summer.


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

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

  • foster an ecclesial environment of ecumenical friendship and partnership


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 Fall 202 beta cohort were due November 22, 2019.  Look for Fall 2020 applications this summer.


The Missio Madison Team

Executive Director

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. 

Team Coach

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 three kids and enjoy getting outside as much as possible.

Team Coach

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 three kids who keep life fun and lively. 



Stephen Feith

Stephen and his wife, Megan, have lived in Madison since 2014 when they moved here to to plant Madison Church, a multi-venue small church with locations on the west side and downtown. Stephen has a MA in Missional Church Movements from Wheaton College and has served on a variety of church planting organizations and teams as both a coach and board member. As a writer, Stephen has been published in Outreach Magazine. Megan and Stephen have two young sons, Oliver and Elijah.


Kayla March

Kayla has been leading in ministry contexts across denominational lines for the past ten years. She has a Master of Divinity from Denver Seminary and most recently served as the Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Blackhawk Church in Madison. Kayla is passionate about the synergistic work of spiritual transformation—in the lives of individuals and in the institutional life of the church. With training in sociology and theology, Kayla is particularly interested in partnering with local church leaders as we ask questions of organizational health, culture-creation, collaboration, and mission. She and her husband, Jeremy, love Madison (even when it's freezing!).     

Program Director

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!

Missio Madison Spring 2020 Fellows

Abbey grew up in Madison and trained and worked with a Christian Leadership non-profit called Tentmakers for several years after high school.  She currently works at a locally owned cafe in Madison and is looking for a new church to get involved with. Abbey sees her ministry context as bringing the love and truth of Jesus into her workplace and encouraging fellow believers to seek Christ above all else.

"I am excited to learn and grow in a community of like-minded individuals and to be more intentionally missional in my everyday life."

Abbey Meyer

    Andy is the Renewal Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Madison, WI - a congregation with roots in the Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara (SASY) neighborhood and the wider Madison community for over 110 years.

    "As the leader of a congregation in renewal, I am excited to learn from the other members of the Missio Madison cohort, to build friendship across denominational affiliations, and to expand my imagination for the Holy Spirit's work in this corner of creation."

    Andy Twinton

    Breanna is the pastor at Trinity UMC and the Content Curation and Ecumenical Innovation Coordinator at the Wisconsin Council of Churches. She has a passion for church planting, networking, drinking coffee, and figuring out where God is moving in the world. In her spare time, she loves spending time outside, traveling, cooking, and trying out new foods with her spouse Andrew and dog Ira.

    "It is so easy to become silo-ed in life and ministry and I'm looking forward to learning how God is moving in traditions that are different than my own. We bring a variety of experiences and I hope the different lens others bring will open me up to seeing new ways of doing things in my context."

    Breanna Illéné 

    ​After a few years away from Madison, David is happy to be back, working as a pastoral intern at foundry414 church and helping coordinate interfaith programming for students at UW-Madison.

    "I am particularly excited to be a part of Missio Madison for the community and personal development opportunities. These will be valuable for me as I seek to better engage those on the boundary of institutional Christianity."

    David Schulz

    Justin is a family man living with his wife and three sons + surprise baby on the way at Troy Gardens in Madison's Northside.  They host a simple house church named Troy Gardens Missional Community (connected to the 24-7 Prayer International movement) and he works as a full time Program Coordinator at Packer Community Learning Center within Packer Townhouses.  

    "I am excited to join Missio Madison and learn with this small cohort of others who are loving Jesus and seeking to live out His call in the places He has assigned us here in Madison."

    Justin Markofski

      Kate is the Pastor of Spiritual Care and Development at People’s Church in Oregon, WI. She is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and previously worked in hospital chaplaincy.

      "Despite the real challenges that the institutional Church faces these days, I believe that God is already doing a new thing—and I look forward to discerning and growing in my awareness of this “new thing” along with the Missio Madison cohort."

      Kate Sweet