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

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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Showing Students What’s Possible

Showing Students What’s Possible: KidZClub Provides Bilingual Tutoring and Support for College

KidzClub at West Street Church in Tipton, Indiana shares how receiving a 2019-20 Mission & Ministry grant impacted their ministry.

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Introducing the Members of the First SENT Cohort

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Announcing the 2020-21 NBA Mission & Ministry Grant Recipients

Introducing our Mission & Ministry grantees for the 2020-21 cycle!

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Offering Fresh Food, Conversation and Smiles During Tumultuous Times

First Christian Church in Princeton, Kentucky used their COVID-19 Mission & Ministry grant to support a program that touched their entire community and spanned multiple generations.

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Supporting Essential Employees Through the COVID-19 NBA Response Grant

When the city of Columbia, Missouri began to shut down due to COVID-19, Woodhaven sprung into action, finding ways to support their essential employees who needed extra support during this unprecedented year. They used a COVID-19 NBA Response Grant to help.

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All People’s College Corner Program Successfully Helps Teens Afford College

All People's Community Center shares how receiving a 2019-20 Mission & Ministry grant impacted their ministry.

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NBA Grant Helps Congregation Take Food Ministry to the Street

Read about how Central Christian Church in Indianapolis has worked to feed their city during this unprecedented year.

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Texas Church Uses Mission & Ministry Grant to Design an Inclusive Playground

Park Place Christian Church shares how receiving a 2019-20 Mission & Ministry grant impacted their ministry.

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Expanding Excellence in Dementia Care During Critical Year for Seniors

Juliette Fowler Communities shares how receiving a 2019-20 Mission & Ministry grant impacted their ministry.

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Learn How to Support Older Adults in Your Church

The Older Adult Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Mid-America Region used their Mission and Ministry Grant to create a robust resource for seniors within the denomination.

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How NBA’s Mission & Ministry Grants Helped Children Enjoy their Summer

Cleveland Christian Home shares how receiving a 2019-20 Mission & Ministry grant impacted their ministry.

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NBA Honors Rev. Margie Pride of Memorial Boulevard Christian Church

The National Benevolent Association celebrates the ministry of and congratulates Rev. Margie Pride on her recent retirement from more than 30 years of ministry as pastor of Memorial Boulevard Christian Church in St. Louis, Missouri.

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NYC Church Uses COVID-19 Response Grant to Feed People in Six Neighborhoods During the Pandemic

In the midst of the COVID-19, Bethel Christian Church, a congregation in New York City created a food delivery program and offered transportation for community members across six neighborhoods.

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The SENT Seminar Confirmed That I’m on the Right Path

Attending the 2020 SENT Seminar was the confirmation Amie Vanderford needed to keep shaping her new social enterprise Project Least.

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Empowered to Impact Dreams: The Dreamkeepers Find Direction at SENT Seminar 2020

"Before the SENT Seminar, I was struggling with what type of organization I was creating, who my target market was, and how I was going to build a supportive network around me that would serve as a guide during the formation years. Now, after attending the SENT seminar, I have no doubt in mind that such support actually exists."

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NBA Board of Trustees Fall 2020 Meeting A Spirit of Collective Care and Gratitude

NBA Board of Trustees met to discuss and approve the 2021 budget and to hear updates on NBA's work related to organizational and leadership development, social entrepreneur efforts, and community engagement advocacy.

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Additional Details About NBA XPLOR