NBA XPLOR is a faith-based, 10-month, congregationally hosted residency program designed for 21- to 30-year-olds looking to explore lives of care and service — giving them the opportunity to unleash their own potential, while positively impacting their community.

After considerable discernment, the National Benevolent Association (NBA) has made the difficult decision to place our young adult residential program, NBA XPLOR, on hiatus for the 2020-21 program year. Read the full announcement here

What is NBA XPLOR?

The NBA initiates ministries designed to establish and grow partnerships with health and social service supporters and providers. 130 years ago, our founders in St. Louis gathered to pray and respond in locally relevant ways to help people in need in their community. Drawing upon this rich history, NBA continues to assist Disciples to join systemic justice work with direct care and action. How can we work with young adults today to recognize needs at their very doorsteps and live a life of faithful response? 

In 2014, we launched NBA XPLORa prophetic movement of and for young adults who are considering lives of care and service. The Residency provides 10-month professional development and vocational discernment opportunities for 21- to 30-year-olds to live simply in community and engage in direct service and justice work. Through NBA XPLOR, we partner young adults with Disciples congregations, regional and general ministries, and wider communities—positively engaging neighborhoods, the congregations, and the young adults. 

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 Association: Following 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.

NBA XPLOR 2019-20 Cohort, with Staff and Spiritual CompanionsNBA XPLOR 2019-20 Cohort, with Staff and Spiritual Companions

Experience XPLOR!

  • Meet NBA XPLOR Residents from previous years.
  • Read stories and news from the XPLOR community.
  • Watch NBA XPLOR videos - view the 2017-18 videos to the right, and check out more playlists on YouTube.
  • This year, 20 Residents are living and serving in 6 host sites: Bloomington, Indiana; St. Louis, Missouri; Hiram-Mantua, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; and XPLORmore in Charlotte, North Carolina!


More Information 

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VIDEO: 2018-19 NBA XPLOR Residents
VIDEO: 2018 NBA XPLOR Reunion
VIDEO: NBA XPLOR Experience: 2017-18
VIDEO: Saying Yes to NBA XPLOR: 2017-18
VIDEO: Looking Ahead, NBA XPLOR 2017-18
VIDEO: What You Should Know, NBA XPLOR 2017-18
Ben Bohren has been working with NBA on Young Adult Ministries since 2012.

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

February 22, 2021

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.

Read More

Virzola Law

Mission Specialist, NBA XPLOR
Young Adult Service Opportunities