What we do

Urban Life offer a number of programmes that are adaptable for a variety of contexts.

Experiments in Mission (EiM) is a learning process which draws together people working in different contexts of marginalisation in order to experiment in and reflect together on their practice, and engage with the latest developments in missiology and thinking on marginalisation. Groups of between 6 and 12 people gather around food for 8 facilitated 3 hour sessions, delivered over 12 months; helping one another to navigate their encounters and develop their learning.

Experiments in Mission (formerly Theology-to-Go) has attracted individuals wanting to reflect on their life, work and mission in a deeper way with others but has also been used effectively by denominational bodies and Christian charities as continuing professional development for their staff.

“It’s really helped me, in how I work with people. It’s not that my aims have changed it’s that I have a clearer understanding of why I would choose certain ways of working.” Emma Neil, Housing Justice

Faithful Improvisation (FI) is a process of theological accompaniment for teams or co-workers in particular marginal contexts who want to reflect together on their experiences of mission. Groups are helped to articulate their journey so far in mission and to generate questions using Power, Presence and Place as overarching themes. These questions then shape the ongoing learning journey which consists of six 2-hour sessions.

In Faithful Improvisation we find creative ways to help groups reflect and integrate their conversation with prayer. We have found that this process has enabled missional groups to clarify their theology which, in turn, has fuelled more confident and intentional practice. 

“It gives us a greater clarity about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. …the process allowed us not just to talk airy fairy about theories but actually deal with a real life situation in a way that was really helpful because it gave us safety to explore.” Jackie Hird, Joanna Project.

Masters Modules: Urban Life delivers a number of Masters modules as part of the Common Awards programms. These include Theology and Mission in Contemporary Urban Contexts and Practical Theology and Ethnography.

“It’s felt exciting… Finding a language for some of the stuff I’ve been thinking has been great.” Naomi Luff, XLP and Masters Student.

Creative Conversations helps Christians to explore everyday experiences of those who find themselves marginalised and excluded in various ways from mainstream society.  Initially the project involved making audio recordings of conversations between small groups of people, followed by some careful and thoughtful analysis.  More recently, it has involved entering into a partnership with IBTSC and CMS to develop the ‘Methods for Creative Conversations’ research project. We convene and participate in an international research group, looking at conversations across difference in a variety of contexts.  In the coming months, we will be helping to shape a tool designed to equip mission practitioners to engage in meaningful conversations across difference, which will be piloted in 2020. 

Bespoke Projects: The flexibility of our approach means that we can tailor our learning processes to your specific project or piece of work. For instance, we have worked with the Trussell Trust to help identify theological motivators at work within emergency food provision.