The Congregations Project of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music is an ecumenical initiative dedicated to creating a network of dynamic faith communities committed to strong ministries in music, worship, and the arts.
Participating congregations develop a project or share current work that is both generative for the congregation and inspiring for other faith communities. Yale brings three leaders from selected congregations to New Haven for a week-long summer seminar, where they meet with other pastors, musicians, lay leaders, ISM students, and faculty to work on their projects and to explore the theme’s implications for the larger Church.
See a sample seminar schedule.
Leadership teams from selected congregations will come to New Haven in June for a week of learning and creative exchange led by our faculty. An annual theme provides a point of focus, but attention is also given to the basic skills and central acts of Christian music and worship.
Each congregation undertakes a project related to the annual theme that builds on prior strengths to deepen and extend ministry in and beyond the congregation.
Each congregation also develops strategies to teach and involve other congregations in ways that belong to or grow out of the project.
Following the seminar, teams share reports of their work with the wider church through ISM channels and other modes.
Hundreds of thousands of religious congregations exist in the United States and Canada, and this project cannot serve them all directly through the summer seminar. The summer seminar is designed especially for congregations that:
- engage scripture in worship and congregational life
- embrace lively practices of baptism and communion
- treasure the living traditions of their denominations
- teach a vibrant Trinitarian theology
- worship God through a diverse repertoire of music, hymnody and congregational song
- support strong congregational and choral singing
- benefit from healthy institutional and interpersonal dynamics
- are served by a collaborative and mutually supportive minister/musician team, both of whom are professionally trained