Sojourners' ministries grew out of the Sojourners Community, located in Southern Columbia Heights, an inner-city neighborhood in Washington, D.C. The community began at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, in the early 1970s when a handful of students began meeting to discuss the relationship between their faith and political issues, particularly the Vietnam War. In 1971, the group decided to create a publication that would express their convictions and test whether other people of faith had similar beliefs. What emerged was a publication committed to social justice and peace: The Post-American.
In the fall of 1975, the fledgling community moved to Washington, D.C., where both the community and the magazine took the name Sojourners. The biblical metaphor "sojourners" identifies God's people as pilgrims—fully present in the world but committed to a different order. The community lived together in common households, had a common purse, formed a worshipping community, got involved in neighborhood issues, organized national events on behalf of peace and justice, and continued to publish the magazine.The community also gave birth to a variety of ministries, including the Sojourners Neighborhood Center, which from the early '80s through 2001 ran after-school and summer programs for local children.
Over the years, however, Sojourners went through a variety of transitions. Slowly, the household communities gave way to an intentional community (with a common rule of life). Needless to say, Sojourners has suffered its own history of division, uncertainty, and glory. Today, the community context has shifted away from an intentional model; rather we are a committed group of Christians who work together to live a gospel life that integrates spiritual renewal and social justice.
In 1995, Sojourners founded Call to Renewal, with many other partners and organizations, to specifically focus on poverty by uniting churches and faith-based organizations across the theological and political spectrum to lift up those whom Jesus called "the least of these." For more than a decade, Call to Renewal convened the broadest Christian table on poverty in America. In 2006, Sojourners and Call to Renewal re-united organizationally under the name Sojourners/Call to Renewal. In October 2007, the organizational name returned to Sojourners, while the special focus on uniting churches on poverty continued to be a priority in the advocacy work of Sojourners.
Sojourners are Christians who follow Jesus, but who also sojourn with others in different faith traditions and all those who are on a spiritual journey. We are evangelicals, Catholics, Pentecostals and Protestants; progressives and conservatives; blacks, whites, Latinos, and Asians; women and men; young and old. We reach into traditional churches but also out to those who can't fit into them. Together we seek to discover the intersection of faith, politics, and culture. We invite you to join, to connect, and to act. Welcome to the community.
In accordance with Sojourners’ mission to articulate the biblical call to social justice:
- We affirm the biblical truth of every human being's inherent dignity and worth, as all people are created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27)
- We affirm that in the Body of Christ there is no distinction or hierarchy according to racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, or social identity and economic status. (Galatians 3:28)
- We seek not to deny or erase the uniqueness manifest in God's creation, but celebrate this diversity as essential to the unity and strength of Christ's Body. (1 Corinthians 12:12-31)
- We believe that unity in diversity is not only desirable, but essential to fulfilling God's ultimate desire for God's people, as expressed in scripture (Acts 2, Revelation 7:9), and thus an essential element of seeking God's will on earth as it is in heaven.
- We confess that both personal prejudice and systemic oppression are sin. We lament that we all have been both individually and corporately damaged by these sinful patterns, whether as perpetrators, victims, or both. (James 2:1-9; Isaiah 10:1-2)
- We humbly seek forgiveness, restoration, accountability, and healing through Christ, as we seek to be peacemakers answering God's call to the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:16-19)
Building upon these biblical foundations, we commit ourselves to:
- Confront and dismantle discriminatory behavior wherever it may be manifest—whether individually or organizationally—by creating and maintaining policies and practices that foster right relationships among our staff.
- Intentionally seek partners, participants, and contributors to our programs, events, and publications that mirror the diversity of our churches and society, with special efforts to welcome those who are underrepresented.
- Employ, retain, and promote a diverse staff, leadership, and board of directors that mirror the diversity of our churches and society. Sojourners is an Equal Opportunity employer, committed to nondiscrimination and affirmation of people of color, women, and LGBTQ staff, and to increasing the ethnic and racial diversity of its staff.
- Educate our staff by providing ongoing training and orientation that teaches the value of diversity and provides practical skills in building intercultural competency, thereby strengthening our ability to relate meaningfully across our many differences.
- Empower a Diversity Task Force made up of a diverse array of Sojourners staff members to hold Sojourners accountable to its values and promote initiatives related to diversity.
- Publicly advocate for civil rights and legal non-discrimination to protect the safety and dignity of all people.
- Continually seek personal, organizational, and social transformation, guided by scripture, humbly listening to those marginalized by society's past and present patterns of discrimination.
Sojourners magazine and Sojourners' online publication sit at the intersection of faith, politics, and culture. Our coverage goes beyond the trending headlines to uncover and explore in depth the hidden injustices in the world around us. Our call to prophetic interrogation means we seek the truth as informed by our biblical roots.
Sojourners' three key commitments are racial and social justice, life and peace, and environmental stewardship. As such, much of our coverage and advocacy explores the following issue areas:
- Climate Justice
- Economic Justice
- Nonviolence and Peace
- Racial Justice
- Women and Girls