Fragmenting forces in western and urban culture are driving many people to a quest for more simple, sustainable and community-based lifestyles. For Christians, this quest is finding expression in a variety of new and old forms of intentional Christian community.

But the process of navigating the major decisions of a new lifestyle is neither intuitively clear nor simple. Pressing questions quickly surface such as: “How will we house ourselves? By what means will we be supported? What will be the rhythms of our spiritual and social commitments?” The answers drawn to such questions profoundly shape the nature and impact of newly forming communities.

This website brings together a variety of resources that can help aspiring new communities thoughtfully navigate such key decisions. Modeling Intentional Communities presents a framework that can clarify the questions communities must face and become better aware of the options available to answer those questions.

You will find here:

  1. Home Page – eleven communities that represent our study sample, their locations, a few pictures and website links for more information about each community.
  2. Shared Assets Page – a set of working definitions, a description of seven key assets intentional communities share, and brief videos compiled of responses from each community as they describe their approach to each asset.
  3. Resources Page – an annotated bibliography organized by themes related to intentional community, along with links to a number of communities and resources.

This project is developing out of the teaching and research of three professors at Abilene Christian University. Monty Lynn, Professor of Management (Department of Management Sciences), contributes a perspective from the discipline of business management. Kent Smith, Missions Coordinator for North America (Halbert Institute) and Director of the Missionary Residency for North America (Graduate School of Theology), contributes a perspective from the discipline of missional formation. Brandon Young, Assistant Professor of Design (Department of Art & Design), contributes a perspective from the disciplines of architecture and planning.