The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis is Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church and President of The Middle Project. She is an activist, preacher, and fierce advocate for racial equality, economic justice, and LGBTQ equality. Middle Church’s activism for these issues has been featured in media like The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and Essence magazine. She is a frequent contributor to MSNBC and blogs at Huffington Post. Lewis co-founded The Middle Project, which trains leaders for the movement for justice. She has been adjunct professor at several seminaries. She is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Jacqui is the first African American and woman to serve as senior minister in the Collegiate Churches. She is the co-author of The Pentecost Paradigm: Ten Strategies for Becoming a Multiracial Congregation (2018) and author of The Power of Stories (2008). Lewis is an Auburn Senior Fellow and is working on a memoir about finding a grown-up God. Lewis earned her M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary and her Ph.D. in Psychology and Religion at Drew University, and has been adjunct faculty at Princeton Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary, The Graduate Theological Union, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and Wesley Theological Seminary.




The Rev. John Janka is the co-founder of The Middle Project and a consultant to congregations and non-profits. He is an experienced trainer and coach with a focus on systems intervention, educational design, training models, staff supervision, coaching, and evaluation. He has trained, coached, and led teams in diverse settings and across racial/ethnic, generational, gender, and socio-economic lines. Janka’s experience includes strategic planning and visioning, managing change and resistance, dealing with difference, cultural diversity, human relations training, and conflict management. Janka is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, and has previously been on faculty in the Doctor of Ministry program at Wesley Theological Seminary. He is co-author of The Pentecost Paradigm: Ten Strategies for Becoming a Multiracial Congregation (2018).