Trinity Institute: Listen for a Change

An annual theological conference

January 21-23, 2016


TI2016 has concluded, but you can still access related videos and courses. If you attended TI2016 as a Partner Site, you can log in for additional resources. Please check back for information about the TI2017 conference on climate change.

Trinity Institute is an annual conference in its 45th year that equips clergy and laypersons for imaginative and catalytic leadership. Trinity Institute conferences present emerging and inclusive theological and social perspectives and engage participants in inquiry, dialogue, and reflection. Participants from all faith perspectives are welcomed. The conference is sponsored by Trinity Church Wall Street, an Episcopal parish in New York City. TI2016: Listen for a Change – focuses on racial justice.

Trinity Institute takes place at Trinity Church in New York City and is streamed at Partner Sites (which are often churches and seminaries) throughout the world.


Why Racial Justice?

This topic is one of the most important of our time. Current studies report that racial discrimination in the U.S. penal system is rampant, and legalized silence perpetuates the problem. Seventy-two percent (72%) of people in state prison for drug conviction are people of color, although blacks and whites buy and use drugs at roughly the same rates. In New York State, 94% of those imprisoned for a drug offense are people of color. A Pew study found that, in the wake of the police shooting of an unarmed black teen in Ferguson, MO, 80% of blacks said that “this case raises important issues about race,” but only 44% of whites agreed, and 47% of whites said “race is getting more attention than it deserves.”

In today’s society, many systems of discrimination thrive because they remain invisible to those benefitting from them. As children of God, we are called to wake up, and to listen up. People of faith know the power of truth telling: speaking truth not only to those in positions of power, but first to ourselves. As Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has observed, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race….”

TI2016 presents conversation as a learning opportunity: a chance to engage in deep listening and truth telling and, as a result, develop the skills to create change within a troubled system. By having these difficult conversations, we can build the underlying skills and willingness to address the racial tensions of our time. “Not everything that is faced can be changed,” wrote the late James Baldwin, “but nothing can be changed if it is not faced.”


Who Is TI2016 for?

TI2016 is for anyone who is interested in a theological perspective on racial justice and a fuller understanding of present realities and ways to transform them. It’s not just for clergy – anyone interested is invited to attend. TI is also perfect for seminarians, students, activists, and young church leaders looking for new insights from thought leaders and change agents and all who are dedicated to or interested in striving for racial justice.

TI attendees may qualify for Continuing Education Units (CEUs).


What does TI2016 consist of?

After opening worship and a keynote address, plenary sessions will include talks by well-known and influential speakers, conversations with an exceptional group of panelists, and forums with TI’s engaged and passionate attendees. During Q&A sessions, attendees at Partner Sites may submit questions via email to be answered by panelists in real time. After the plenary sessions, participants break into small groups designed and facilitated to continue the conversation with peers, practicing the kinds of transformative conversations that may be carried back to their local contexts.

Reflection groups are led by expert facilitators, specifically trained in leading discussions about race and racism. These guides foster a safe space to have these conversations as a learning process. TI holds that skills such as deep listening are learnable, and that equipped with such knowledge, each participant can create a ripple effect of positive change in the community.

Learn more about reflection groups.

In addition to talks, panels, and reflection groups, you’ll have the chance to connect with old friends and make new ones as you take part in meals, coffee breaks, and networking events between keynotes and reflection groups.



There are three ways to participate in Trinity Institute – which is best for you?


Attend in NYC

Come to the Big Apple and participate in the talks, panels, and reflection groups in person. Meet up with old friends and make new ones as you share meals, coffee hours, and a networking event together. The schedule consists of opening worship on Thursday night, followed by two full days of talks, panels, reflection groups, and networking, culminating in optional Sunday morning worship. Don’t forget to carve out a little time to enjoy the city! Get more info here (link to NYC page). TI features a sliding scale fee structure: pay $500, $300, or $100 for the entire conference experience.

Registration to attend in New York City is closed. We hope to see you in 2017.


Become a Partner Site

Become a Partner Site and bring Trinity Institute to your location. You can hold the event live during the New York City conference or stream it on-demand at a time convenient for your group. You’ll broadcast TI directly to your location with a web connection (tech support provided), and we’ll provide materials so you can hold your own reflection groups. You’ll need to recruit participants – so we provide a recruitment toolkit. Get more info here. TI features a sliding scale fee structure: each Partner Site pays either $500, $300, or $100 for the entire conference experience.

Partner Site registration for TI2016 is closed. We hope you join us in 2017.


Find a Partner Site Near You

Churches and institutions, both domestic and international, will host T2016. Find one near you and contact the Partner Site coordinator to attend. No Partner Sites near you? Attend in NYC or become a Partner Site.

Find a Partner Site Near You