Thriving Rural Communities at IEI


In North Carolina, 80 counties are classified as rural. In these communities, faith groups remain the strongest, most impactful, and most trusted local institutions. At IEI, we believe that communities of faith are essential partners to finding new and innovative solutions to the unique challenges facing our rural communities.

Through a Duke Endowment Funded initiative, IEI will assist rural faith communities across North Carolina by:

  • Helping to identify and understand the large issues facing North Carolina and their local communities;
  • Working to develop and find resources to engage these issues;
  • Providing on-going support as faith-based communities offer their solutions and implement their plans all across the State.

Our faith-based partners are a catalyst for discovering the groundbreaking ideas
that will lead rural North Carolina into the 21st century. Through our partnership, we will develop a network that impacts rural communities at the ground level, in order to tackle some of our North Carolina’s biggest challenges in bold and creative new ways.

Rural faith-based communities are invited to attend two major events: the Emerging Issues Forum, February 2017 (2) the Rural Faith Community as Anchor Institution Conference on April 25th and 26th, 2017. Eligible faith communities are invited to register one clergy/staff and one layperson for both events.

For more information about these events, or how the Institute for Emerging Issues can work with your rural faith communities, contact IEI’s Rural Church Fellow, Kylie Foley, at or 919-515-3542.