Ongoing Initiatives

Deep Roots Podcast

The world is a tempest of injustice, threatening to tear our communities apart. But our resistance has deep, deep roots. Listen to stories of prophets, sages, revolutionaries, and mystics–those whose lives reach down deep to the source of life, to find power for resistance.

Nurturing Prophetic Imagination Retreats

We offer three day retreats to help participants break free from the dominant scripts of our imperial culture and begin to find a more faithful, life-giving way of following the way of Jesus in the midst of empire.

Workshops and Webinars

Every month, we offer workshops, training events, or webinars on a variety of topics to “help people turn from the false promises of Empire and embrace God’s vision for the world.”

Liturgical Direct Action

Drawing upon the tradition of the Catholic Worker and Ploughshares Movements, and inspired by the insights of movement-scholar Bill Wylie-Kellerman, we plan creative direct actions that are acts of worship.

Prophetic Immersion

Prophetic Immersion is a year-long initiation into the life and ministry of Jesus. Through five intensives, participants re-enact key experiences in Jesus’ life within our own social, environmental, and political contexts. Think of it as a school for prophets.

Fall 2018 Conference

Coming September 21-23, our conference asks: “What is the prophetic vocation today?” Drawing upon the deep spiritual roots of resistance, and embracing the divine pathos of lament, how do we raise a hopeful prophetic voice that challenges empire?

Why we exist


1 Jesus Christ is our center and example for life.

2 By encountering the living presence of God in prayer and contemplation, we begin to experience the world prophetically, as Jesus does.

3 The prophetic imagination cannot be understood apart from the lived experiences of marginalized and oppressed people—including but not limited to those who are people of color, queer, trans, femmes, gender nonconforming, Muslim, formerly and currently incarcerated, cash poor and working class, disabled, undocumented, and immigrant.

4 Imperial structures and myths seek to alienate us from one another, from the rest of creation, and from our Creator.

5 Therefore, empowered by the Spirit, we will actively resist forces of alienation.

6 As we encounter God in the midst of this struggle, we find new ways of human flourishing, for deep praxis deepens our prophetic imagination and shows us that a new world is possible.

7 We become most like Jesus when we bring our full selves and deepening creative capacity into the task of co-creating the new world.


    The Center for Prophetic Imagination integrates spiritual formation, creative political action, and experimental education to nurture and guide leaders that call people out of empire to embrace God's vision for the world. We exist to cultivate prophetic witness.


    We are working to live in a world where all walls of alienation are torn down and all people live justly with each other, with the land, and with the Spirit of Life.


    Formed in autumn 2016, the Center for Prophetic Imagination grew out of the Mennonite Worker, an urban intentional community and congregation founded in 2004 by Mark and Amy Van Steenwyk. The Mennonite Worker is committed to Jesus' way of hospitality, simplicity, prayer, peacemaking, and resistance.

Who we are

Mark Van Steenwyk
Mark Van Steenwyk
Executive Director
For nearly 15 years, Mark has sowed seeds of subversive spirituality throughout North America. He co-founded the Mennonite Worker in Minneapolis in 2004 with his wife Amy. Mark is the author of That Holy Anarchist, The unKingdom of God, and A Wolf at the Gate.
zed jensen
zed jensen
Director of Programming
Zed has been a part of radical Christian community in California, Australia, and Minnesota. They are passionate about the use of art in every social movement towards liberation, queer/trans rights, redefining what Christianity looks like in the USA and most importantly: playing dress up with friends and family.
Leslie Foster
Leslie Foster
Digital Outreach Guru
Leslie Foster is an urban nomad and an experimental filmmaker based in Los Angeles. He has a life-long love for building community and a deep desire to create radical spaces for people of color, queer, and trans folks that re-imagine the future. He dreams of one day joining a sea-faring group of vagabond artists.
Debra Bell
Debra Bell
Board Member
Debra G. Bell, M.D. is a board certified family physician and a diplomate of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine. She currently practices as a consultative Integrative Medicine physician at the Penny George Institute of Health and Healing in Minneapolis. Debra is cofounder of the Minnesota Institute of Contemplation and Healing.
Brett Knutson
Brett Knutson
Board Member
Brett currently works in Advertising as a Creative Director. Before that he was a Writer/Producer on a TV show for the History Channel all about monsters. He has been a magazine writer, a Sergeant in the US Army and a spiritual speaker, planner and mentor. In 2006, Brett earned his MA in Christian Thought.
 Katherine Parent
Katherine Parent
Board Chair
Katherine Parent is a PhD student at Luther Seminary and an artist-in residence at Redeemer Lutheran Church in North Minneapolis. Katherine grew up in Nashville and Seattle. After graduating from St. Olaf in 2009 she spent several years studying global Christianity in Norway. In her free time, Katherine likes to sing folk music, cook and spend time in the woods.
Jonathan Stegall
Jonathan Stegall
Board Member
Jonathan is a web and user experience designer living in South Minneapolis with his wife and daughter. He is passionate about connecting design, theology and spirituality, and justice, and looks for ways to pursue justice and join movements within faith community.
Tony Williams
Tony Williams
Board Member
Tony attended Santa Clara University in California, where he was heavily involved in the Unity 4 movement for racial and gender equity on campus. Following graduation, he returned to Minneapolis and went through the Rising Tides organizer training. Tony has done community organizing work on a number of topics, including payday lending and police abolition.
Daniel Wolpert
Daniel Wolpert
Board Treasurer
Daniel Wolpert, a student of the spiritual life, has taught in the fields of psychology and spiritual formation for the past 30 years. Co-founder and Executive Director of the Minnesota Institute of Contemplation and Healing, he’s the author of Leading a Life with God, Creating a Life with God, Meeting God in Virtual Reality, and The Collapse of the Three Story Universe.
Katie Yanike
Katie Yanike
Board Secretary
Katie lives in the Minneapolis Catholic Worker/Rye House intentional community in the Philips neighborhood, where she strives to live with others, love more radically, and understand herself and others more deeply. She also works as a teacher at Joyce Preschool, a bilingual (Spanish-English) preschool in South Minneapolis.

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