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Missio Cohorts

Learn more about the Missio  cohort experience.


Interested in joining an upcoming cohort? Apply via the button up top.


Find out about who is leading Missio Cohorts.

Missio Cohorts


Missio cohorts exists to form God's people in local communities into a thriving, discerning community joining in God's mission. We do this through an 8-month community experience for Christian leaders and disciples. Cohorts form a community in which followers of Jesus can collaboratively exegete our place and discern God's call into fresh forms of Christian community and mission.  Our vision is to cultivate local ecumenical kinship, discernment and collaboration that equips the church for faithful futures. 

Missio fellows:

  • cultivate sustaining friendships among local peers

  • create connections with coaches and context experts

  • discover fresh forms of prayer and dwelling in the Word

  • form habits of reflective engagement for local mission

  • develop skills for leading new missional initiatives

  • foster ecumenical friendship and collaboration


Missio cohorts first launched in Madison, Wisconsin in 2020. Since then, forty two missional practitioners--pastors, ministry directors, elders, interns, and non-profit leaders--have participated in Missio Madison from nearly as many different local churches. Fellows' churches reflect the wide range of Christian traditions in Greater Madison including non-denominational, United Methodist, Assemblies of God, United Church of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran, Independent Christian, Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Free, Wesleyan, Episcopal and Mennonite.

Missio Lincoln cohorts will launch in fall 2024. Applications are open and will be received until the cohort is full.

Missio Cohorts is an initiative of University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in partnership with Collaboration Project and made possible by the generous support of the Lilly Endowment.

What is MM?

The American church is in the midst of a period of great contextual change, and through the eyes of faith, believers affirm that God is in the midst, actively engaged with human history and by the Spirit is inviting the church to join the "new thing" that God is doing.

Christopher James

Church Planting in Post-Christian Soil

Learn more about our cohorts in:


What participants are saying

Woman with Tattoos

I developed more comfort with taking risks around discovering what God's already doing in our community. And I am more confident of my call to join God in the neighborhood. I'm also encouraged by the movement of the Spirit so clearly evident amongst those in our cohort from diverse denominations.

My missio experience helped me grow beyond my stereotypes about my  siblings in Christ of other traditions. Building real relationships with others is a powerful tool for bridging differences.

It's given me more confidence to reach out to staff and lay leaders at my church to invite, question and challenge things when I feel a nudge from the Spirit. Specifically, my coaching team really helped me to feel more bold in my role as a ministry leader at my church as well as in my community.


Our Team

Christopher James

Christopher James

Missio Cohorts Director

Chris is the author of Church Planting in Post-Christian Soil (Oxford University Press), a study of church plants in Seattle, WA. He is professor of evangelism and missional Christianity at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and holds degrees from Boston University, Fuller Seminary & Wheaton College. Chris also helps lead Madison Learning Community and Awaken Dane. He is an ordained Minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Alex Rousseau

Alex Rousseau

Lincoln, NE Coordinator

Alex is Director of The Gathering Network, a hub for missional communities & everyday disciples.  Born & raised in Lincoln, he holds his hometown dear and wants to see it thrive.  He spent 5 years as a pastor, 16 summers working for NATS Detasseling (still going), and is a part-time stay-at-home-dad.  He currently serves as president of Atlas: Lincoln and is ordained in the Christian & Missionary Alliance.

Abbie S

Abbie Sawczak

Madison, WI Coordinator

Abbie is the Pastor of New Culture Church, which she helped to plant as an Assemblies of God pastor. She's also a speaker, podcaster, Director of Neighborhood Networks for Collaboration Project, and an alum of Missio. After years of partnership between Missio Madison and Collaboration Project, these cohorts have become part of the core ministry of CoPro as "Neighborhood Catalyst" cohorts.

Our Missio Madison Community

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