NBA Celebrates Completion of First NBA XPLOR Cohort

The National Benevolent Association of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) rejoices with and congratulates the 10 young adults who have completed the 2014-15 NBA XPLOR Residency, having served for 10 months in Hiram-Mantua, OH; St. Louis, MO; and North Hollywood, CA.In keeping with the four cornerstones of NBA XPLOR, Residents committed to living simply in intentional community, engaging in direct service and justice work, participating in Disciples leadership development, and exploring spiritual discernment on vocation. Through their dedicated work, spiritual practices, and exploration this year, these young adults anticipate now exploring calls to social work, early childhood education, community organizing, nursing, ministry, and more.

“A Prophetic Movement”

NBA XPLOR is an initiative designed to partner a diverse group of young adults, ages 21-30, with local Host Teams comprised of congregations, regions, and affiliated institutions.

“This is a prophetic movement of and for young adults to develop hearts for care by exploring the interplay between the life of faith and the work of justice,” said Rev. Bonnie Osei-Frimpong, Director of NBA XPLOR.

The spiritual and professional skills NBA XPLOR Residents gain will impact, guide, and direct their lives moving forward. In her work providing direct services with the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, Resident Rebecca Wells, a member at East Dallas Christian Church, learned to ask, at every step of the way, “How does what I am doing provide dignity to the person I am working with?” Regarding his work with adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Hiram Farms, Blaine Kuss, a member at Pittsboro Christian Church, said, “I am gaining invaluable experience working with people. I am continuing to learn about how to maintain high expectations for everyone while differentiating for each individual’s needs and how to more effectively advocate for people living with disabilities.”

Residents’ internships gave them the opportunity to, for instance, provide necessary resources to low-income families across the country, to promote community development in Ferguson, MO, and to accompany un-housed individuals and families in the Los Angeles area, among other professional and vocational purposes. Residents have learned grant writing, event planning, community advocacy, and much, much more.

“We sincerely thank this year’s NBA XPLOR Residents and the tremendous efforts of each of the Host Teams, and congratulate everyone involved on this impactful journey of partnership, growth, and leadership,” said Mark D. Anderson, NBA President and CEO.

What’s Next?

In August, NBA XPLOR will welcome 25 Residents into the 2015-16 cohort and expand to seven total locations: existing sites North Hollywood, CA; St. Louis, MO; and Hiram-Mantua, OH; and new sites Tucson-Marana, AZ; Golden Gate/ Bay Area, CA; Quad Cities, IL/IA; and Dallas, TX. NBA XPLOR will soon begin accepting applications for the 2016-17 cohort as well.

About the National Benevolent Association

The National Benevolent Association (NBA) serves as the health and social service general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The NBA partners with local congregations, regional and general ministries, and a variety of Disciples-related health and social service providers. The NBA initiates, incubates, and connects partner ministries and organizations that provide direct care to those in need.


NBA XPLOR is a 10-month, faith-based service residency opportunity for young adults ages 21-30, with the purpose of empowering young adults to discern and develop a “heart for care” as they live together in simple community, engage in direct service and justice work, engage in leadership development, and discern their vocational calls to honor the various communities they are called to serve.

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