This post will increase in information, so I’m going to make a permanent link to it in my sidebar. I hope it will help those of you considering and aspiring to mission in New England. Please keep in mind that while there may be such a thing as a “New England culture,” there are also communal cultures that vary state to state, and village to village. Ministry in Burlington, Vermont (largest town in the state, the university town) will likely look different than ministry in Poultney, Vermont (small village, although Green Mountain College is there). Rural New Hampshire is different from Boston, Mass. Etc.
(Feel free to add resources/links in the comments.)
The six states that comprise New England are: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
According to Gallup 2009 these six states are in the bottom ten religious states in the U.S. Only 2% of New Englanders attend evangelical churches.
Church Planting Organizations
NETS Institute for Church Planting
An interdenominational missions organization that mobilizes and equips seminary graduates to plant churches in New England and abroad through gospel proclamation. Residency programs and field programs.
Acts 29 Church Planting Network
Acts 29 is currently planting more gospel-centered communities in the New England states. They need planters/pastors willing to increase that number. A29 Northeast regional director is Ed Marcel of Terra Nova Church in Troy, NY. A29 New England director is David Pinckney of River of Grace Church in Concord, NH.
ARC: Association of Related Churches
ARC is a network of church planters, church leaders, and churches in transition to provide support, guidance and resources to launch and grow life-giving churches. By my last count, ARC has 5 churches in the 6 New England states.
North American Mission Board (of the Southern Baptist Convention)
NAMB has indicated a renewed interest in sending pastors to plant or revitalize/replant churches in New England. Here is one such story. Lyandon Warren is the NAMB director for church planting for the state of Vermont, Barry Murry for the state of Maine.
Networks and Resource Centers
The Gospel Coalition New England
The Center for Gospel Culture hosts the New England chapter of The Gospel Coalition. This regional sub-network is directed by Dr. Stephen Um and runs a resource website and has begun hosting events and conferences throughout the year, so far in Boston, MA.
Vision New England
Now the largest regional association in the country, Vision New England ministry initiatives serve more than 5,000 churches in 80 denominations. As the region’s leading resource for pastors and churches, Vision New England is an interdependent network of individual Christians and local churches who are committed to reaching New England through intentional evangelism. Hosts seminars and intensives. See website for events.
The Gospel Alliance New England
The purpose of Gospel Alliance NE network of pastors and churches is to promote gospel renewal in New England area churches. Primary purpose is networking and cooperation. Holds an annual youth conference in the spring (The Calling) and an annual general conference in the fall (Lead).
Job Listings and Internship Programs
The Gospel Coalition Jobs Board
Check this resource frequently for openings in gospel-centered ministry positions around the world, including in New England.
Green Mountain Baptist Open Ministry Positions
A listing of church and missionary openings in Baptist churches in Vermont.
New England Center for Expository Preaching
Internship program that puts seminary students in host churches throughout New England to study expository preaching and be mentored by an established pastor. Interns provide pulpit supply for various churches each weekend. Seminary credit applicable in many cases. The NECEP hosts a conference every year as well.
YouthWorks organizes and conducts annual mission trips to Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont that concentrate on service projects and assisting local churches.
Typically located in Maine, The LEAD Conference is an annual fall conference highlighting gospel-centrality and gospel mission in New England sponsored by the Gospel Alliance New England. Past speakers include Tim Chester, Jonathan Dodson, Bob Thune, Bill Streger, Matt Chandler, Ray Ortlund, Caesar Kalinowski, and Scotty Smith. The last conference was co-sponsored by the PLNTD Network. Plans for a 2013 event are TBD.
New England Center for Expository Preaching Conference
Located in center New England and usually held in May, past speakers include Mark Dever, Derek Thomas, Steve Lawson, Thabiti Anyabwile and Ligon Duncan.
NETS Annual Conference
Held in Vermont, next year’s speaker is Mark Dever.
Reformation Conference (pdf)
Reformed Bible Church of Clarendon, Vermont hosts an annual Reformation Conference, typically the last weekend of October. Past speakers include D.A. Carson and Derek Thomas.
Colleges and Seminaries
(Please bear in mind that a listing here does not connote an endorsement of a particular institution’s dominant theology or understanding of the gospel, but merely provides options for further education.)
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts
New England Bible College in South Portland, Maine
Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts
Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Schenectady, New York (not technically New England, but close)
Bangor Theological Seminary in Bangor, Maine
Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Why New England? by New England Theological Seminary (article)
Why New England is the New American Missional Frontier by Jared Wilson (blog post)
The Country Parson by Tim Keller (blog post, fantastic on call to rural ministry)
Edwards and the New England Theology by B.B. Warfield (article)
A History of New England Theology by George Boardman (book online)
A Genetic History of the New England Theology by Frank Foster (book online)
Church History of New England from 1620 to 1804 by Isaac Backus (book online)
Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards (book online)