Programs and services offered by Partners value and respect the spirituality and faith of all congregations that open their doors to the community. Designed to stimulate success, Partners changes the way congregations view their role so that their sacred place remains a rich and vital part of the social fabric of a community. Partners helps congregations leverage existing and new resources, solidify their continued relevance, and ensure their own sustainability.
Partners for Sacred Places, founded in 1989, is the only national, non-sectarian, nonprofit organization focused on building the capacity of congregations of historic sacred places to better serve their communities as anchor institutions, nurturing transformation, and shaping vibrant, creative communities.
Celebrating 30 Years
Across America, many places of worship suffer from declining attendance, constrained resources, and the burdens of aging, under-maintained, and over-scaled places of worship. Congregations of nearly every faith face challenges of unanticipated magnitude. Once an object of civic pride, these historic sacred places now pose a serious challenge to many denominations and congregations.
Thirty years ago, Partners for Sacred Placed, a non-sectarian, national, not-for-profit, was born to passionately and compassionately confront these emerging challenges, to address the many issues relating to Sacred Places at Risk, and to partner with religious and community groups at every level to find solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems.
Partners is now celebrating thirty years of accomplishments in addressing these challenges, and has built a national movement based on its ability to assess issues, map assets, find solutions, and create optimism and hope for the future of our historic, purpose-built sacred places.
Partners for Sacred Places brings together a national network of expert professionals who understand the value of a congregation’s architectural assets, its worth as a faith community, and the significance of its service to the community at large. With a national presence and offices in Philadelphia and Chicago, Partners fosters the active community use of historic, sacred places – churches, synagogues, and more – and builds the capability of their congregations through training programs, fundraising assistance, and assessments. Partners has served thousands of congregations and other organizations over the past thirty years and represents the needs and concerns of over 100,000 older, community-serving sacred places across America.
Our work has long included programs, projects, and collaborations with judicatories and other governing bodies. Partners has strong relations and collaborations with universities, preservation alliance and advocacy groups, as well as community development corporations. Partners also has strong expertise on adaptive re-use of vacant religious properties, leading design charrettes, community and political engagements, and business and funding plan development.
Through our training programs, information clearinghouse, and professional network, we have helped congregations in all 50 states. Stories of success unfolding in cities, towns, and rural areas inform Partners’ knowledge bank. Each story fuels our capacity to help congregations, and we continue to expand our national reach by strategically growing our projects and work.