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Wayne Meisel
Wayne Meisel is the Director of the Center for Faith and Service at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL. The Center develops programs through partnerships with local congregations and national church offices for a generation defined by their commitment to service and justice. The Center also seeks to renew theological education through collective efforts to recruit, train and launch individuals into both traditional and new forms of ministry.

Prior to this position, he served as the Director of Faith and Service at the Cousins Foundation in Atlanta, GA. and was the founding President of the Bonner Foundation. As a Presidential appointee to the Commission on National and Community Service, Meisel served as one of the architects of the AmeriCorps programs and also as a charter board member of Teach for America.

He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church and describes himself as an AmeriCorps Chaplain.

Entries by Wayne Meisel

Rough, Intimate, Tragic, Redemptive: Calvary and the Call to Ministry

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 5:25 PM

I am not like any moviegoer I know. When I get to the cinema, I prefer to know nothing about the movie I'm about to see... not who is in it, or if it is a comedy, a romance or a thriller. I avoid the previews, which usually give away...

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9 Questions to Ask Friends and Family at Thanksgiving

(2) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 11:13 AM

So, what to talk about at Thanksgiving dinner, when you are sitting indoors because the bad weather canceled the touch football game, washing dishes, or watching an NFL blowout?

Politics? Probably not.

Sports? That could be dangerous.

Religion? Who's been to church or a religious service lately?

What if I...

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Don't Sweat the Advice: Welcome Class of 2018

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 6:35 PM

An occupational hazard (or should I say opportunity?) of my profession is that I often get last-minute calls asking me to substitute for some famous commencement speaker who suddenly can't make it.

Most of the time, this is fun -- I just like the fact that I get to...

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Ministry on the Margins: The Good, the Bad and the Awesome

(1) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 12:07 PM

"Who in their right mind would want to be a minister?"

It's a question I hear a lot nowadays, especially with news reports about how many in ministry experience low pay, high burnout and potential unemployment.

Last week, I read an article in The Atlantic, "Higher Calling,...

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Big Thaw: How Resistance to Gay Marriage Melted in the Detroit Heat

(14) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 5:25 PM

Even while enduring the Polar Vortexes and complaining about the bitter cold several months ago, I knew there would soon come a day where we would be cursing the heat.

2014-06-25-10440683_654594710588_7652237614476523791_n1.jpg That day came last week for me while I was in the...

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Pentecost: Unusual Allies and the New Faces of Ministry

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 12:47 PM

Pentecost Sunday: Fifty days after Easter (it happened this past Sunday); known as the day the church was born; marks the day the Holy Spirit descended to earth; when people, despite their differences, came together to form the community that we now call church. It is the day when God...

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Where Faith Still Thrives! Summer Camps and the Future of the Church

(14) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 5:55 PM

What was the most significant institution in my faith development? The obvious answer would be Sunday School and church youth group, or perhaps, my college chaplain's office. You might think it surely had to be the venerable Princeton Theological Seminary. Nope. The answer: Camp Dudley, a YMCA camp located on...

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Easter: Opening Day for Reclaiming the Radical Message of the Gospel

(1) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 11:18 PM

Question: If Lent is Spring Training for Christians, then what is Easter?
Answer: Opening Day

Baseball officially began at the beginning of the month, but for Christians, the new season begins this Sunday morning.

Lent, which I have described as Spring Training for Christians, is about preparation,...

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Lent: Spring Training for Christians

(1) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 3:26 PM

Anyone who knows me knows that I take Lent seriously. Lent is a defining part of my life, shaped by practice and discovery over time. In college, I started "giving up things" which marked the beginning of my reLENT list. Every year I would add an additional item to give...

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Profiles in Ministry: Phillip West, Being Present by Walking the Talk

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 1:53 PM

Profiles in Ministry is a twelve-part series from the FAITH3 initiative that lifts up courageous, creative leaders who have built innovative ministries that powerfully engage in our most difficult challenges; their work offers hope, promise and a sense of possibility.

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Where Faith Meets Justice: Jobs That Will Change You and Your World

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 5:49 PM


The only time I can remember wishing for the end of a vacation was winter break of my senior year in college. Mid-January rolled around and I couldn't wait to get back to school. No, it wasn't so much that I...

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Profiles in Ministry: Jim McCloskey, A Champion for the Wrongly Accused

(1) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 5:32 PM

Profiles in Ministry is a twelve-part series from the FAITH3 initiative that lifts up courageous, creative leaders who have built innovative ministries that powerfully engage in our most difficult challenges; their work offers hope, promise and a sense of possibility.

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Eleven Myths About Going to Seminary

(6) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 10:08 PM

As the son of a preacher, the last thing I ever wanted to do was go to seminary. Oops! Granted, I waited eleven years after graduating from college. I tried to slip into class on the first day without anyone noticing but the professor called my name out and asked...

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Seminaries that Change the World: A Growing List of Transitioning Institutions for Transformational Times

(15) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 8:59 PM


Question: Where do you go to graduate school if you want to change the world? Answer: Yale Law School, Harvard School of Education, Stanford School of Business, the Wagner School of Public Service at NYU, Wesley Seminary or Vanderbilt Divinity School.

Wait, What?...

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Government's off, Soup's on!

(4) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 11:56 AM

When government can't break gridlock, it's time for church to break bread.

I woke up this morning as I usually do. As soon as I can halfway open an eye I grab my iPhone and check the headlines: Tampa beat Texas, the Saints thumped the Dolphins and America is tied...

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SERV: From Random Acts of Kindness to Strategic Engagement for Social Justice

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2013 | 3:51 PM

15 Question for Seminaries and Seminarians to Ask and Answer

In 1965, violence broke out as civil rights activists marching toward Montgomery tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The day has become known as "Bloody Sunday," and we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s immediate response -- to call...

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Homecoming Sunday: When Opening Our Doors Isn't Enough

(2) Comments | Posted September 5, 2013 | 5:10 PM

This coming Sunday, many churches across the country dust off "Homecoming Sunday" signs and banners. Though not part of the official church calendar, its subtext might as well be: "Summer is over, time to get back to your church!" (And get current with your pledge).

Even with all the...

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National Service: A Game Plan for the Church

(9) Comments | Posted July 12, 2013 | 5:53 PM

Time magazine recently highlighted a report coming out of the Aspen Institute and the Franklin Project that appropriately proclaims the need for national service and the role that it can and must play in our society. The report is a bold one, calling for the creation of one million positions...

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Wake Up Church: National Service and the Crossroads of Faith and Justice

(9) Comments | Posted July 2, 2013 | 2:33 PM

Have you ever received a "pity invite" to a party that seemed like a last-minute afterthought, and when you got there you felt like you didn't belong?

In the late '90s, I attended the President's Leadership Summit in Philadelphia. Everyone there was famous, so no one was treated as...

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Students Cross Country to Share What's Possible Through Seminary Education

(1) Comments | Posted June 7, 2013 | 2:50 PM

How does one change the world? Many young people choose to contribute by doing a year of service after graduating from college. They join AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps or Teach for America before heading to graduate school. Often, they go on to law school, business school or get higher-level degrees...

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