NBA XPLOR Young Adult Residency Program

NBA supports a prophetic movement of young adults exploring the connection between a life of faith and the work of justice.

In 2014, we launched NBA XPLOR, a ten-month residency year for young adults ages 21-30  to live in a new community, learn about their faith, and make decisions about how they will construct meaningful, impactful lives.

Through NBA XPLOR, we partner young adults with Disciples congregations, regional and general ministries, and wider communities—building impactful learning contexts, broad communities of service, and transformational conversations and relationships. After considerable discernment, the National Benevolent Association (NBA) has made the difficult decision to place NBA XPLOR on hiatus for the 2020-21 program year. Read the full announcement here

While on hiatus from residential programming in 2020-21, NBA XPLOR is developing new models for connecting with and supporting diverse communities of young adults. XPLOR is researching and developing a semi-virtual intentional community model which we hope to launch in 2021. Stay tuned!

Four Cornerstones of NBA XPLOR

Community Engagement and Justice Work

Have you been wondering how to make a greater impact for good? 
Connect the life of faith to the work of justice in your day-to-day life.

Spiritual Deepening and Vocational Discernment

What is it that God and your heart are calling you to do? 
Say yes to new ways of living into God’s dreams for your life.

Leadership Development

What do you need to know to do what you need to do? 
Claim and hone your strengths for personal, spiritual, and professional leadership.

Simple Living in Intentional Community

How do I learn to live with what I need, not with all that I want? 
How does living in community shape my answers and my practice?
Experience sharing resources and making decisions in a household community of faith.

NBA XPLOR is fully committed to a solid foundation of anti-racism and anti-oppression work. The XPLOR Cornerstones help Residents and host teams to engage practices of full inclusion and to celebrate diversity.

NBA XPLOR is deeply rooted in the mission of the National Benevolent AssociationFollowing God’s call, the National Benevolent Association exists to inspire and connect the people and ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), to accompany one another in the creation of communities of compassion and care, and to advocate for the well-being of humanity. We also claim our mission through a deep connection to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) identity statement: We are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. As part of the one body of Christ, we welcome all to the Lord’s Table as God has welcomed us.


Meet the NBA XPLOR Team

Rev. Evan Stanfill

NBA XPLOR Equity Mission Specialist

Virzola Law

Rev. Virzola Law

NBA XPLOR Mission Specialist



We are strengthening our XPLOR Alumni Network, comprising more than 100 former Residents who continue to pursue lives of care and service through work in health and social service fields and through involvement with their faith tradition and community. One focus of our alumni work is to nurture a culture of equity and mutual support among group members, and we do this through book groups, webinars, community conversations, and skills-sharing. XPLOR Alumni who would like to be involved are encouraged to contact Evan Stanfill at EStanfill@NBAcares.org.


XPLOR Resident Vlogs

Learn about XPLOR from the voices of the Residents themselves! Watch this playlist of Resident vlogs from a recent cohort. You can even check out more Resident videos on the NBAcares YouTube Channel.

Get to Know the XPLOR Residents

XPLOR Residents 2019-20

Meet the Residents

XPLOR Residents 2018-19

Meet the Residents

XPLOR Residents 2017-18

Meet the Residents

XPLOR Residents 2016-17

Meet the Residents

XPLOR Residents 2015-16

Meet the Residents

XPLOR Residents 2014-15

Meet the Residents

Stories from Our Residents

NBA Announces Fall 2021 Mission & Ministry Grantees

We are excited to announce our Fall 2021 Mission & Ministry Grantees! This program granted a total of $185,500 to 35 Disciples projects working with older adults, children, and youth.

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A Mile in Our Shoes: NBA Staff Reflects on Footwear as a Reflection of Daily Life

Shoes don’t just make an outfit, they can say a lot about a person, where they’ve come from or where they’re headed.

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Voices of NBA: Black Women in Leadership

We sat down with Dr. Norma Ellington Twitty and Rev. Monica Wedlock Kilpatrick for a dynamic conversation about NBA’s history, equity and inclusion, leadership, and the importance of NBA both inside and outside the walls of the church.

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It Takes Everyone: Sharing the Load of Justice Work

NBA’s new Justice Coordinator, Rev. Alexis Vaughan, reflects on Martin Luther King Jr.'s words and the need to share the load of social justice work.

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The Many Hurdles of Employment After Incarceration

Upcoming webinar guest Savvy Shabazz shares his experience with the prison system in Kentucky and his struggles of trying to find employment after returning home.

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Reflections on the Impact of NBA’s Executive Leaders Peer Learning and Wellness Group

Read about the impact of NBA’s Executive Leaders Peer Learning & Wellness Group.

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NBA Adds New Staff Members to Aid in Mental Health, Justice, and Development Work

Over the last few months, we’ve added several new faces to our team. Get to know them!

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Mental Health, Wellness, and My Faith Journey

“Focusing on my wellness allows me to embody commandments like Sabbath and prioritize my joy and my rest,” shares Joselyn Spence, NBA’s Director of Mental Health & Wellness. Read about how her journey to deepen her faith and care for her mental health were intertwined.

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NBA CFO and VP of Administration Gary Zimmerman to Retire After 34 Years of Service

After 30 years with us as the CFO and VP of Administration Gary Zimmerman will be retiring at the end of January 2022.

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Coping with Trauma in the Wake of the 9/11 Anniversary

This September marks the twentieth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Here are ways to cope with trauma from these past events.

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Focusing on the Future: An Update on NBA XPLOR

NBA XPLOR update! The traditional residential model will stay on hiatus for 2021 with NBA’s team putting energy towards three exciting new ventures.

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NBA Social Entrepreneurship Program Adds New Incubate Partner, Whosoever Will Community Assistance Program

2021 NBA Incubate Partner, Whosoever Will Community Assistance Program provides fresh, healthy, nutritious food to food-insecure communities in Beltsville, MD.

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Reflections from NBA Partner All Peoples on Attending the White Co-Conspirators Summit

All Peoples board members Christine Galligani and Amanda Trefethen share how they will use the information from Scarritt Bennett’s White Co-Conspirators Conference to lead All Peoples Board of Directors in continuing its goals of inclusion and equity.

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Honoring Rev. Dr. Suzanne Webb

The Christian Church Foundation (CCF), the Christian Unity and Interfaith Ministry (CUIM), and the National Benevolent Association (NBA) mourn the loss of Rev. Dr. Suzanne Webb.

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Love Passionately, Hold Lightly: Words to Shape a Vocation

Loving passionately and holding lightly, words that have guided NBA’s Executive Vice President Rev. Rebecca Hale throughout her career.

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Celebrating 10 Years of Service: A Q&A with President and CEO Mark Anderson

10 years after Mark D. Anderson began at NBA as President and CEO, he's taken some time to reflect on what this ministry has meant to him.

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Through The Years: Mark D Anderson

In 2011, Mark D. Anderson was called to serve as the President and CEO of the National Benevolent Association. Since then, he’s led the organization through challenges, triumphs and an unprecedented pandemic.

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“Under His Eye”: The Pandemic, Hulu, and The Death Penalty

Sometimes, dystopian movies have eerie resemblances, not just to what the world could be, but what it actually is writes Tialisha Lumpkin.

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NBA Celebrates Rev. Monica Wedlock Kilpatrick’s New Leadership Role

We are so proud to announce Rev. Monica Wedlock Kilpatrick’s new role as the Vice President of Organizational & Leadership Development.

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NBA Virtual Board Meeting Encompasses Commitment, Successes, and Celebrations

The National Benevolent Association Board of Trustees met virtually on Friday and Saturday, June 11–12, 2021. The Board of Trustees has convened all quarterly meetings over Zoom since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March of 2020.

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Reflections Following the White Co-Conspirator Summit

Rev. Foster shares learnings from her experience at the Scarritt Bennett Center White Co-Conspirators Conference.

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Social Entrepreneurship: The Good News of Reimagining the Work of the Church

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COVID-19 NBA Response Grant Supports College Students Needing Financial Assistance

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Chaplains Safely Support Relationships in Residential Facility During Pandemic

NBA COVID-19 Response Grant enables a couple’s love story in quarantine.

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Engaging in Equity: Meet Héctor Hernández Marcial, Director of Community Engagement

Get to know the Director of our new Community Engagement program, Rev. Héctor J. Hernández Marcial!

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Danville Christian Church Continues Comfort Food Ministry During Pandemic

Before the pandemic, Danville Christian Church partnered with the local Ronald McDonald House in Danville, IN to provide comfort to families. Thanks to a COVID-19 NBA Response Grant, they were able to continue this partnership.

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Engaging in Equity: Introducing NBA’s Community Engagement Program

We’re excited to announce our new Community Engagement Program. This program was born out of NBA’s commitment to activism and advocacy coupled with our mission to build communities of compassion and care.

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Rev. Dr. Ben Bohren on the Heart of NBA XPLOR

Before the end of 2020, we asked Ben to reflect on “the heart of XPLOR,” the Four Cornerstones of the program, and what being part of young adult leadership development has meant to him personally.

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Transitions and Celebrations in the NBA Mental Health & Wellness Initiative

After more than five years of service, Rev. Angela Whitenhill-Shields will transition out of her role as NBA’s Mental Health & Wellness Initiative Manager.

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Turning Tables Toward Mental Health and Wellness

Read about how  The Turning Table a project from the United Church of Christ St. Augustine in St. Augustine, Florida used their Mission and Ministry Grant to create a space to talk about mental health.

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Additional Details About NBA XPLOR