skip to content


Wesleyan Impact Partners Announces the Selection of 19 Phygital Preaching Fellows

Jul 10, 2024

Fellows Will Explore the Boundaries of Spiritual Formation and Faith Community Across Physical and Digital Worlds

Phygital Fellows

AUSTIN, Texas -- Wesleyan Impact Partners announces the selection and launch of its Phygital Preaching Fellows Initiative. Nineteen leaders will explore and experiment with technologies to discover new delivery systems for the Gospel as the church lives into the phygital (physical + digital) public square. The cohort of Phygital Fellows will share and showcase their learnings broadly, igniting imagination across the church for what God can do in and through digital spaces.

"People are living their lives more and more online. As we look to the future, we see more integration of the digital space and physical world. How can the church be a means of grace for people online and invite them into meaningful experiences where they encounter the good news of Jesus Christ and become more loving, more peaceful, more compassionate people? This initiative, led by our Phygital Fellows, will help the church share God’s transforming grace through new platforms,” said Chief Learning and Innovation Officer, Rev. Dr. Blair Thompson.

The Phygital Preaching Fellows Initiative is made possible by a $1.25 million grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. through its Compelling Preaching Initiative. Lilly Endowment’s Initiative aims to foster and support preaching that inspires, encourages, and guides people to come to know and love God and to live out their Christian faith more fully.

"We are thrilled to bring this incredible group of leaders together in the Phygital Preaching Fellows cohort. They will help us all to expand our imagination through the questions they are asking and the experiments they are trying, all for the sake of the Gospel. We can’t wait to see what the Holy Spirit does through this initiative,” said Derrick Scott III, Associate Director of Learning and Innovation. Derrick is co-facilitating the cohort with Angie Thurston from Sacred Design Lab.

The Phygital Preaching Fellows are comprised of leaders who are already adept in the phygital space, those who are just beginning to experiment with digital technologies in their ministries, and some who will help ground the innovation process across diverse faith traditions.

The Phygital Preaching Fellows are:

The Phygital Fellows will work closely with each other over a two-year journey of exploration and innovation. They will meet in-person and online and travel to locations across the United States to experience learning journeys where they will encounter new people and new ideas that expand their imagination for what’s possible. In the third year of the initiative, the Phygital Fellows will cultivate a large gathering of leaders from across the country to share their learnings and invite conversation about how to invite and deepen formation in the phygital space.

“At Wesleyan Impact Partners we are committed to strengthening the church’s witness for today and tomorrow. We gather leaders to ignite imagination and inspire collaboration all to bring about a more loving, just, and generous world. The Phygital Fellows Initiative is the next step in this Spirit-Led movement," said President & CEO, Rev. Lisa Greenwood.

About Wesleyan Impact Partners

Wesleyan Impact Partners is a national nonprofit and ministry partner to the church and its leaders, offering investment opportunities, loans, endowment and gift planning, leadership cohorts, and learning and innovation. We strengthen the church’s mission toward building a world of grace, love, and belonging. Throughout its 55-plus-year history, Wesleyan Impact Partners has made thousands of loans, empowering churches and nonprofits across the United States to pursue their God-sized dreams. Wesleyan Impact Partners lifts up the work of courageous spiritual entrepreneurs across the Wesleyan Ecosystem through its nationally recognized Locke Innovative Leader Award and its thought-provoking podcast Igniting Imagination. Our work is made possible through ministry partnerships across the country with impact-focused investors, borrowers, donors, and foundations. Based in Austin, Texas, the organization is led by President & CEO Rev. Lisa Greenwood, who is also President & CEO of the Texas Methodist Foundation. To learn more, visit