This year marks the 15th anniversary of Faith & Leadership. Since January 2009, we have written, edited and published more than 2,000 pieces, including feature stories, essays, interviews, sermons, videos, photo essays and a podcast.

We’ve published in-depth analysis and people-driven stories about faith communities across the U.S. and the globe. We hope that our readers have gotten a glimpse of the Christian institutions we’ve covered — from a nondenominational mentorship program by and for women of color to a Catholic parish in Chicago where many cultures meet.

In 2023, faith communities continued to grapple with the post-pandemic world. Our reporters and writers have helped us understand the reasons people have and have not come back to church and how the declining number of volunteers has strained the local church experience.

As part of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, which is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., we hope that our work has helped readers navigate the current landscape of Christian leadership. Here are 15 of our favorite stories, essays and interviews from the past year in celebration of our anniversary. Enjoy!

People in the pews: Who’s missing, who’s hiding, who’s comfortable on the couch?

Pastors mourn the faces they no longer see and figure out how to serve those they’ve yet to meet in person.

Political, prophetic and pastoral: The church’s response to miseducation

Throughout its history, the Black church has played a crucial role in providing education where it was denied. That work continues today.

Self-care is different from self-comfort

Modern understandings of self-care often focus on temporary fixes, not long-term wholeness, says a psychologist.

Majora Carter: Don’t leave! We can make low-status neighborhoods better

A real estate developer in the South Bronx works to build attractive spaces and create jobs in her home community and show people they can have beautiful, successful lives in their own neighborhoods.

Living into the kingdom of God by believing in its abundance

We can live out our beliefs as the early church did by stewarding resources to meet the needs of all, writes a director of programs and grants for Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.

Declining volunteerism is changing the church experience

Congregations struggle to maintain educational programs without volunteer support.

Crawfish and lizards and mice, oh my! Photos from the Blessing of the Animals

It’s one of the joys of church life — the Blessing of the Animals! Readers sent in their favorite images from this annual ritual, including, yes, crawfish and lizards and a mouse. Also some very cute dogs.

Struggling with what to do with your church building? Here’s how to find help

Congregations across the country are trying to figure out what to do with buildings that no longer serve their purpose. But there are many resources for leaders grappling with this issue, writes a project director at the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving.

Movement chaplains offer specialized support for activists

Grounded in grassroots traditions, these chaplains are helping advocates for justice across the country access community resources and receive spiritual care.

Acknowledging the past to chart a course for the future

David Goatley’s installation as Fuller Theological Seminary’s new president was a master class in beginning a ministry assignment, writes the executive director of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.

Erna Kim Hackett: An organization designs cohorts for women of color and queer folks of color to heal together

Even progressive spaces can feel extractive to women of color and queer folks of color. Liberated Together aims to be a space by and for them.

What happens when an ‘Old First Church’ needs to change?

Eight years ago, First United Methodist Church of Miami faced the fact that its history and prestige weren’t going to keep it alive forever. It has found a way to honor its past and grow into the future.

The brain, the heart and the soul: How three Catholic churches are merging to create a new type of parish

Three congregations have avoided some of the disruption of a reorganization in Chicago by leaning into their individual identities while forming a new whole.

Jennifer M. McClure Haraway: Congregations can help each other navigate opportunities and challenges

Emotional support, information and practical assistance are all ways congregations can benefit from developing relationships with other congregations, says the author of “No Congregation Is an Island.”

Fuller Seminary heads up ambitious ecumenical project to engage millions of young people

Five years in the making, the TENx10 project aims to “help faith matter more” for 10 million teens in 10 years. The effort has involved many groups across the church and might serve as a model for more collaborations.