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ABCD Institute Events

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September 26-28, 2018 in Aurora, CO

The ABCD Institute at DePaul University is proud to present a two and a half day basic training event that introduces the core principles and applications of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) in the context of local  communities. Presentations and discussions will occur in light of current conversations about equity and social justice and will enable participants to think deeper about responses to these challenges. This training will include site visits. 

Who Should Attend  People who seek an introduction to ABCD in the context of local  communities. Though not a requirement, experience shows that the effectiveness of the training is greater when more than one person from the same organization attend together. This training may also serve as a “refresher” opportunity on ABCD basics for others who are already somewhat familiar with the approach.

When and Where The 2.5-day event will be held September 26, 27 and 28, 2018, at the Elevation Christian Church in Aurora, CO.

Registration Fee  $620.00 for the 2.5-day training event. Register before June 29, 2018 for the Early Bird discount fee of $560. 

Workshop Leaders  The course will be led by ABCD Faculty and Fellows affiliated with the ABCD Institute at DePaul University – Rachel Dahlke, Ron Dwyer-Voss, Rubin Medina and Dacia Steiner. The Co-Founder of the ABCD Institute, John McKnight, will also make a guest presentation. 

To apply for a limited number of partial scholarships, please email Kim Hopes at

For more information and to register for the Aurora, Colorado Training​

 ​Faith-Rooted Training Banner

October 31, 2018 in Chicago, IL

The Faith-Rooted Working Group of the ABCD Institute is offering training focused on your congregation and its relationship to its neighbors. The one day Training (the day before the CCDA Chicago Conference) on October 31st, includes: 

  • Tools for asset-mapping your congregation 
  • Stories and inspirations to open up creative new ways of doing things 
  • Strategies to connect people over difficult issues facing communities 
  • Experiential training in your immediate neighborhood 
  • Ways of overcoming the deeply-ingrained charity model 

When and Where 
October 31, 2018
DePaul University Conference Center
1 E. Jackson, Room 8002
Chicago, IL 60604
8:30 am-5:00 pm

Who Should Attend Members of Faith-Rooted Organizations or congregations interested in raising questions like these:

  • Are your doors to community open or closed? Are only members permitted in? 
  • Is the only community you know the one inside your doors? 
  • Do you start with scarcity rather than abundance in seeking to live out God’s call to be good neighbors?
  • Do you want to have more than a charity relationship outside your doors? 
  • Are these hard questions to answer? Good!

Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) is a way of envisioning community that provides new insight into communities on both sides of those doors. 

Workshop Leaders The workshop will be led by CCDA leaders and ABCD Institute Faculty members Richard Townsell and Mary Nelson, ABCD Institute Fellows Melissa Browning and John Unger. 

Registration Fee  $150 for individuals | $125 if registered for CCDA Conference | $100 each for group of 5 or more registering. ​

For information and to register for the Chicago Faith -Rooted ABCD training.

2019 Goa Festival logo 

2019 International ABCD Festival in Goa India January 14-18, 2019

Have you ever aspired to visit and discover India? Well this is the ultimate low cost opportunity, with the bonus of gathering with others passionate about Asset Based Community Development. The Bank of I.D.E.A.S. with a range of other international community development groups are planning this learning and exchange experience in the beautiful Indian state of Goa – a place where East and West have been meeting for over 500 years. This will be an amazing event, and very low cost. Plan now to be there and think how you may want to formally contribute through a presentation / workshop / cultural performance.  

For more details or to register, please visit

Check out the venue, the International Centre Goa

If you would like to present or facilitate a session, please contact

Online/Dial-up Conversations with John McKnight and Peter Block

Abundant Community

John and Peter host periodic free half-hour conversations with special guests on building community, connecting with the people in your neighborhood and creating alternative futures in local economies, education, health care and other domains of community life.

After the lead-in discussion, John and Peter will open the conversation up for questions and comments from anyone who wants to stay around.

It's easy to listen and participate. If you can’t listen live, the conversation will be archived.

Guests through August 2018 will be:

February 20 - Paul Sparks, Parish Collective - connecting churches and neighborhoods

March 27 - Ann Livingston, founder of the Vancouver Area Network of Dug Users - organizing the unorganizables.

May 8 - Thom Allena, community and organizational psychologist - how restorative justice takes place in the neighborhood.

June 26 - Joseph Kovitch - pioneering the church in action.

August 21 - Paula Ellis, Kettering Foundation senior associate, former senior media executive, journalist, and Knight Foundation officer, longtime leader in journalism innovation and community engagement - changing the narrative for community leadership.

No advance registration needed