Union Theological Seminary in New York has announced the launch of NewMediaProjectAtUnion.org, the website and blog of the New Media Project funded by a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

In the midst of the massive shifts occurring in digital communication today, the New Media Project explores how pastors and lay leaders might employ new technologies to strengthen their communities. 

“Pastors need more than the technical know-how required to build websites and use social media,” says New Media Project Director Verity Jones. “They also need broader, theologically grounded reflection on the lasting effect these technologies will have on the church and its global ministries.”

The website and blog will feature the work of the project’s research fellows:

  • Jason Byassee is a research fellow in theology and leadership at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.
  • Monica A. Coleman is Associate Professor of Constructive Theology and African American Religions at Claremont School of Theology.
  • Lerone A. Martin is Assistant Professor of American Religious History and Culture at Eden Theological Seminary.
  • Kathryn Reklis is the Executive Director of the Institute for Art, Religion, and Social Justice at Union and the outgoing Director of Theological Initiatives there.
  • Jim Rice is editor of Sojourners magazine.
  • Verity A. Jones is the project director and the former publisher and editor of DisciplesWorld magazine.

Six case studies and research about new media will be posted to the site as the work unfolds in a effort to practice lessons learned about new media and social media — namely that the broad and immediate sharing of information and ideas can build community and encourage generative theological dialogue in new ways. 

Follow the project on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for the e-newsletter on the bottom right column of the website to receive bi-weekly updates.