Skip to main content

Rural Faith Communities as Anchor Institutions

Moving forward together.
Wrestling with realities.
Building capacity for the long haul.


The RFCAI Program at IEI has existed in partnership with The Duke Endowment since 2015 to fold rural North Carolina faith leaders into local and state-wide leadership on emerging issues. Through data, appreciative inquiry, and leadership development, IEI invites rural faith leaders to our Emerging Issues Forums, a faith-centered annual event (our RFCAI conference), and provides technical assistance on community-congregation partnerships throughout the year. Our network is over 400 clergy, lay leaders, and partners.

duke endowment logo
RFCAI is made possible through the generous funding of the Duke Endowment.

Connecting in Crisis

The Rural Faith Communities team at IEI (Ellen, John, and Kylie) are trying to figure out ways to do something about the COVID-19 pandemic. Somedays that’s collecting stories from pastors, other days it’s listening to statewide leaders trying to figure out what the next week of the pandemic might look like for North Carolina. Connect with us as we continue learning.

NC Staff volunteers work to communicate the importance of wearing masks with students and provide free protective masks to students while working with the “Protect the Pack” initiative on campus. Photo by Marc Hall

Faith & Community Podcast

Listen to Peer Networks podcasts around issues that matter to faith leaders—the hard and good conversations we are, or should be, having.


John Parker, Rural Faith Communities Senior Fellow

Ellen Beasley, Rural Faith Communities Program Assistant