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Ministry for a New Era

When Wayne Dockery, Mike Casey, Lynn Mitchell and I spent a weekend talking about starting a new journal in 1984, we could not have imagined that over thirty years later it would still be a voice for theologically informed ministry for churches of the Stone-Campbell tradition. But that is exactly what has happened with Leaven journal. With a rich legacy behind us, Leaven now looks forward to what will come next.

Wayne, Mike, Lynn, and I had a hard time coming up with a name for the new journal. We finally settled on Leaven, and I think the name has expressed the journal's identity well. Leaven is a small thing with a surprisingly large impact. Leaven has never been the biggest publication with the largest budget or slickest design. Our editors have never been paid and volunteer guest editors have been invaluable to the journal's success. Other journals with bigger budgets and paid staff have come and gone, but Leaven continues to publish.

In the 90's, I passed the mantle of managing editor to my parents and they did a magnificent job keeping Leaven vital and dependable. Their leadership of the journal coincided with Pepperdine University's adoption of the journal as an official publication of the Religion Division. That came with invaluable support in editing, layout, and subscription services. Readers of Leaven owe Pepperdine their gratitude for taking the journal under their wing.

With the retirement of my parents came an opportunity to chart a new path for Leaven. While many things will stay the same, including quarterly "issues" that bring theological reflection to the tasks of ministry from a diverse group of writers and editors, big changes are planned as well. The biggest change is that Leaven will be fully online. And free!

Our online presence will allow us to expand our footprint in terms of delivering content. Blogs will be posted daily. Video content will be added regularly. Practical resources for ministry will be multiplied. We think this is a bold and important move for us and are glad you are coming along. Share the news with your friends. Post links to Leaven content on your Facebook page. Help Leaven do just that: be a leavening influence for congregations and their leaders.

Mark is the Dean of the School of Theology and Ministry at Rochester College, and co-editor of Leaven. His personal blog can be found at dei-liberations.com. He can be reached at mlove@rc.edu.