In the U.S., a majority of life is experienced in work and the workplace. The average person will spend 90,000 hours working in their lifetime, but 69% of employees are not engaged during those hours.
Work is where the Church has a mostly untapped capacity to bring human flourishing and God’s Kingdom into greater reality because the Church is tactically located in all sectors of society—public, private, and social.
Yet, Christians in every industry regularly report feeling that the work of their job, where they spend the majority of their time, is pushed to the sidelines of God’s mission, whether they believe it should be or not. So, their impact becomes limited to the margins of their time in church and nonprofit volunteerism. A recent study found that 72% of Christians struggle to or ignore connecting their work with their faith.
Further, the human, social, and financial capital of the Church is primarily mobilized for church-led or nonprofit-led initiatives. Focusing on the integration of faith and work animates us to consider the vast opportunities present in the collective lives of Christians through their daily work.
In the workplace, the Church has the opportunity to offer a unique articulation and real example of what it looks like to work transformatively and build relationships with people in every channel of culture, every industry, profession, and workplace.
Faith and work and its related topics like vocational stewardship and whole life discipleship give hope and new possibilities for the future of the Church, cities, and the tangibility of God’s Kingdom.
That’s why we need a new vision and framework to see daily work as integral to God’s work of healing, rescue, redemption, and restoration in our workplaces and cities. As that vision comes into view and is embodied in more workplaces, every city will see an increase in flourishing and a decrease in suffering.
This is why we believe the integration of faith and work is of first priority for society and the Church.
Ross Chapman was named CEO of Denver Institute for Faith & Work in August 2022. Before working at Denver Institute he served as the President and Executive Director at For Evansville, a movement of people who are actively working toward the good of the Greater Evansville region. Ross has earned his doctorate of ministry in faith, work, economics and vocation at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the co-author of Faithful Work: In the Daily Grind with God and for Others (IVP, Winter, 2024).
Brian is the VP of Formation here at DIFW and also leads our 5280 Fellowship program. Prior to landing at DIFW, he served in pastoral ministry for thirteen years and at Denver Seminary for four years. His vocation includes moving ideas out into life through relationships and conversation – whether that applies to God, work, the Church, good beer, or Liverpool Football Club. He married way out of his league, and spends most of his free-time being parented by his two daughters.
Jeff Hoffmeyer is the VP of Advancement at Denver Institute for Faith and Work. He is an ordained Presbyterian pastor, and holds a Ph.D. in theology, having written his dissertation on the doctrine of atonement. He lives in Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two children, and loves all things true, good, and beautiful, including fly fishing, Wendell Berry, craft cocktails, and the Denver Broncos.
Abby serves as the VP of Operations & Finance where she spends her energy making sure things run smoothly and effectively. Before coming to Denver Institute, she spent more than a decade working in public education in Mississippi and Colorado as a teacher, administrator, and human resources leader. Abby is an alum of the 5280 Fellowship, and she is passionate about the Denver restaurant scene–ask her for recommendations.
Joanna serves as Director of Public Engagement, hosts the Faith & Work Podcast, and founded Women, Work, & Calling. Prior to coming to the Institute, Joanna worked in global telecom, nonprofit consulting, and campus ministry with Cru. She has an MA in Social Entrepreneurship from Bakke Graduate University and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is the author of Women, Work, & Calling: Step Into Your Place in God's World (IVP, Fall 2023).
Catherine serves as Denver Institute’s marketing and events coordinator. Prior to joining DIFW, Catherine worked in nonprofit ministry, editorial, event planning, and media production, and served as an events intern with Denver Institute for two years. She graduated from Colorado Christian University with a bachelor of arts in global studies and a minor in mass media. Catherine enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures; of the places she has been, Italy, China, and Scotland are among her favorites.
Pamela Ramon serves as the development and 5280 Fellowship coordinator. Prior to joining DIFW, Pamela served as a project manager and marketing coordinator, as well as a high school math teacher. She and her husband, Gabriel, live in Thornton. When they’re not traveling internationally, you can find Pamela and Gabe hiking, fly fishing, and reading.
Cliff serves as Denver Institute’s publishing manager. Prior to coming to DIFW, Cliff had a career in publishing working for Tyndale House Publishers as group vice president for new market development developing unique product formats for Bibles and children’s books in multiple distribution channels. He also worked for Christianity Today as global publishing director and as a publishing consultant to the Kern Family Foundation and some of its grantees. Cliff holds a B.A. in economics from Wheaton College and completed Yale University’s executive publishing course. Cliff lives with his wife, Phebe, in Parker, Colo.
Lisa Slayton is Founding Partner and CEO of Tamim Partners, LLC, an advising agency dedicated to guiding leaders and their teams in their mission to serve their communities for the common good. Lisa is a Board Director for Made to Flourish, and Leadership Foundations, serving in an additional capacity as a Senior Innovation Fellow for the CCIC. She is also a certified coach for Designing Your Life, serving others in their exploration of work and calling. Lisa attended Mount Holyoke College and Bakke Graduate University and holds an M.A. in Social and Civic Entrepreneurship.
The idea of Denver Institute began in 2012 as a group of city leaders met regularly at Jake’s in Old Littleton to discuss the idea, “What do the Gospel, spiritual formation, and public service have to do with marketplace leaders and what they produce?”
From that question, Denver Institute launched in 2013. Our early public events focused on topics like faith and technology or featured speakers like Eugene Peterson on vocation, and they have since grown to over 9,000 people attending events on business, the arts, education, built environment, workforce development, women and work, calling, and spiritual formation at work.
We added church leader events, discussion resources through industry groups, the Faith & Work Classroom, Business for the Common Good, and our 5280 Fellowship to form professionals for “life with God, for the city, through their work.” Remaining committed to the Front Range, we began stewarding our influence nationally in 2020 through our Faith & Work Podcast, the CityGate leaders ecosystem, and our Women, Work & Calling initiative.
The seasons, our staff, and our programs have evolved, but the through line has remained the same: convening, imagining, being transformed, and striving toward the good of our work, our workplaces, and our cities.
Our founder, Jeff Haanen wanted to bridge the gap between faith & work, public & private sectors, and the church and the city. In 2022, he decided it was time for a new season at Denver Institute, and we welcomed Ross Chapman as our new CEO, who is the founder of For Evansville, which shared a similar passion for bridging those gaps. In 2023, we launched the FOR Campaign, a five-year effort for the future of work and workers, church, and cities, to continue to bridge these gaps.
We are proud to be an accredited organization with The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). The ECFA enhances trust in Christ-centered churches and ministries by establishing and applying their Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™ to accredited organizations.
Furthermore, we’re happy to provide visibility into our working finances. Click below to explore our 990 Forms: