History and Purpose
Process & Faith was founded in 1983 by pastors and theologians who believed that theology grounded in the process thought of philosophers Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne makes the most sense of both historical faith and contemporary experience. “Process theology” does not have its own doctrines or creeds. Instead, it is a basic conceptual orientation that sees the universe as creative, interrelational, dynamic, and open to the future. It does not reflect a specific denomination or faith tradition. As a distinctive way of viewing reality, it is a way for people to deepen the particularity of their own faith while opening the way to mutual respect between faith traditions. Process theology gives people the conceptual tools for thinking and acting theologically as engaged church members and citizens of the world.
As pastors and educators, those involved with Process & Faith deal daily with a well-documented problem: liberal-minded Christians find their lived experience at odds with classically expressed doctrines of the Christian faith. In response they have bracketed theology from their church experience, focusing instead upon the community and justice-making aspects of church membership, or they have opted to leave the church altogether. Emphasis on praxis has resulted in powerful ministries of grace, but left laypersons without even a basic understanding of Christian belief. This has created a real hunger for theological understanding. But if that theology is presented in its classic formulation, as though the last three centuries of history, science, and culture never occurred, liberal parishioners have gained little. When, on the other hand, they are introduced to process theology, the typical response is, “that just makes sense.”