On November 3rd at Redeemer’s Gospel & Culture conference, Katherine Leary Alsdorf announced that she will step down as Executive Director of the Center for Faith & Work (CFW) effective December 1st. The Rev. David H. Kim, who has been part of the CFW staff team and has led the Gotham Fellowship since its inception in September 2008, will assume the leadership role for all CFW.
Redeemer hired Katherine in late 2002 to start a marketplace ministry. Under Terry Gyger’s leadership, Redeemer reorganized around 5 ministry fronts—worship and evangelism, community formation, mercy and justice, church planting, and faith and work—in order to help the congregation be more “outward faced.” Teaching on cultural engagement in 2002-2003, Tim Keller set the stage for what has become a vibrant ministry of the gospel applied to all aspects of work life.
After some pilot classes and discussion groups, Katherine established the Center for Faith & Work and built it out with funding from the 2005 Vision Campaign. Today, its leader-led Vocation Groups gather people from 18+ vocations to think about their professions from the perspective of a gospel worldview and to discern how God is calling each person to serve.
CFW’s Arts Ministries serve the 15-20% of our congregation who are working in theater, dance, music, visual arts, and writing professions. The Entrepreneurship Initiative, started in 2006, encourages congregants, with the support of our church community, to start new organizations that will help the city flourish. More than 25 new ventures have been launched and many more entrepreneurs have explored how to be gospel-centered in their approach to leadership.
In 2007, Katherine worked with David H. Kim, then head of Manna Christian Fellowship at Princeton University, to create a unique fellows program that would provide seminary-level training to young professionals in our congregation who would not otherwise seek theological training. Together, along with Sonja Chen, they created the Gotham Fellowship, a 9-month intensive cohort program of theological training and spiritual formation. Gotham has graduated over 100 fellows and is now in its 5th year with a class of 42 from a wide variety of vocations. The core curriculum of Gotham has shaped all CFW’s ministry and has equipped leaders serving in Vocation Groups, all of Redeemer, and out in vocations in the city.
The impact of CFW goes beyond its specific programs. The entire congregation is reminded regularly that their work matters to God. Each month hundreds of people go deeper in their understanding of God’s work in their lives and the power of the gospel to heal the brokenness of our work lives, the places we work, and society at large. Tim Keller’s most recent book, Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work, has grown out of Redeemer’s faith and work ministry over the past decade.
David is excited about this opportunity to lead CFW along with an exceptional staff team—Amilee Watkins (Leadership Development), Chris Dolan (Operations Management), Calvin Chin (Entrepreneurship Initiative) and Kenyon Adams (Arts Ministries) —as they make plans for the next decade of faith and work ministries at Redeemer. Katherine will help with the transition through April 2013 and continue to support CFW in many ways as a strategic advisor, teacher, and mentor.