Our Mission

Fuller Seminary Office for Urban Initiatives (OUI) engages students to develop and/or participate in strategies that end social injustices in the tradition of past and contemporary Christian reformers. These reformers have been used by God to administer justice and bring healing as taught in the Christian scriptures. Students learn how to identify, engage, and solve critical issues that have left neighborhoods, cities, counties, states or even entire nations pained and conflicted.

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Urban Initiatives Video
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Court Clergy Conference

OUI & ACR Receive Congressional Recognition

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Court Clergy Conference

President Labberton and Judge Fruin

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Court Clergy Conference

Father Greg Boyle

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Court Clergy Conference

Archbishop J. Gomez

Slideshow 1
2014 Pasadena Homeless Count

Counting at Pasadena City Hall

Slideshow 2
2014 Pasadena Homeless Count

Volunteer Training

Slideshow 3
2014 Pasadena Homeless Count

Students Conduct the Count

    Our Projects and Activities

    Meetings and Events

    The Office for Urban Initiatives (OUI) has convened several events at Fuller Theological Seminary around the topic of ending social injustices by inviting social reformers to engage with Fuller students and the community.

    Round Table Discussions:

    OUI conducts Round Table Discussions that identify social injustices in various communities. Students are invited to learn how to end social injustices by participating in these discussions along with Urban Initiatives’ seasoned practitioners and invited community leaders. Discussions will focus on, but are not limited to, ending and preventing homelessness, human trafficking, neighborhood revitalization, economic development, and urban planning.

    Speakers and topics include:

    Student Networking Meetings

    OUI provides an opportunity for networking during which students and others, who work in the nonprofit world, the church or in the community addressing social injustices, can come together to share their work, cultivate relationships, seek support, exchange ideas, reflect with others, and share resources. We believe that when people join with others and create momentum toward change, they become transformational. The meetings provide an environment where people can continue to grow while developing peer mentoring and professional relationships in order to effect change and enhance their current work.


    OUI and the Office of Alumni and Church Relations (ACR), in partnership with the Los Angeles Superior Court convened the Court Clergy Conference at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena in 2010 and 2014.
    The theme for the 2014 conference was Building Community with Justice. Approximately 200 faith leaders from different backgrounds, as well as faculty and students at the seminary attended the all-day conference, learning how to navigate the justice system for the populations they serve. The conference included welcoming remarks from Fuller’s President Mark Labberton and City of Pasadena’s Mayor Bill Bogaard. Congresswoman Judy Chu presented certificates of congressional recognition to OUI, ACR and the LA Superior Court, acknowledging the partnership and efforts to bring the court system and clergy together. The conference also included an overview of the LA County Superior Court system; panel presentations by judges on different courts and procedures such as veterans, juvenile, mental health and family law courts; information on child abuse and mandatory reporting; as well as keynote addresses from Archbishop Jose Gomez and Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries.
    Archbishop Gomez opened the conference speaking of Pope Francis’ acts of kindness and the power of mercy through such acts, encouraging attendees to do likewise. Amongst one of the presentations was Judge Nash’s recounting of the painful realities of children forced to navigate the justice system. Regarding the attitude of judges in the Juvenile Court working to help youth, Judge Nash quoted Martin Luther King Jr.: “I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.” He spoke of the failure of the system when a youth ages out of the foster care system and the responsibility to provide a permanent home situation for them. Father Boyle closed the conference with a reminder that there could be no justice or peace without kinship, and that the path to building a community with justice is by way of “the spirit and courage of tenderness.” It was fitting that the conference opened and closed with a call to remember kindness and compassion as a road map to kinship, community, and ultimately, justice.
    Resources from the conference included information on:
    · Child Abuse and Mandatory Reporting
    · Collaborative Justice
    · Criminal Court Overview
    · Juvenile Court
    · Protection of Vulnerable Populations
    You can read more about the conference from Fuller News here.

    Pasadena Partnership to End Homelessness

    The Office for Urban Initiatives participates as a member of the Pasadena Partnership to End Homelessness. The Partnership is dedicated to implementing evidence-based and best practices in order to prevent and end homelessness. OUI is a member of two subcommittees of the Partnership: (1) the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and Homeless Research Committee; and (2) the Faith-Based Committee. To learn more about evidence-based and best practices to end homelessness, visit the Partnership's website.

    Pasadena Homeless Count and Sub-population Survey

    The Office for Urban Initiatives helped to coordinate almost 70 volunteers from Fuller Seminary, Pasadena churches and the community to participate in the annual Homeless Count and Sub-population Survey on January 22, 2014. The point-in-time count is mandated by the United States Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) for all jurisdictions that receive federal funding. The count and survey are also integral to provide information on the homeless population for Pasadena's service providers to better direct and make decisions regarding resource allocation. The 2014 final report can be found here.

    If you are interested in volunteering to help count in your community, click here.

    Project HOUSED Pasadena

    Project Housed PasadenaProject HOUSED Pasadena is a street-to-home initiative spearheaded by the Pasadena business and faith communities, local government, and social service providers that aims to identify and permanently house the city's most vulnerable homeless persons, including those most likely to die on the streets.

    Dr. Sofia Herrera, Associate Director of the Office for Urban Initiatives, coordinated volunteers during the week of August 7-12th, 2011, from Fuller Seminary, congregations, faith-based organizations and the Pasadena community to administer a vulnerability index questionnaire to homeless persons living on the streets. Housing Works, a non-profit agency that serves homeless persons, worked to house the identified homeless persons. Those newly housed received supportive services in order for them to remain housed and integrate into the community. This project has been on-going and 55 persons experiencing homelessness have been housed as of April 2014, with a retention rate of approximately 93%.

    Housing vulnerable homeless persons who are already in our community, people living on the streets and in need of housing and medical treatment, is much more cost-effective than allowing them to remain homeless. Persons living on the street access our community's emergency services at a disproportionate rate, using the emergency rooms, ambulances, and generating emergency responder calls. Housing them is a permanent solution, allows them to receive treatment for physical and mental illnesses, and results in better outcomes for the person, reduced costs for the emergency response system, and safer, more inviting neighborhoods for residents, businesses, and visitors. This approach to ending homelessness is called Housing First and is being implemented across the nation as a strategy to end homelessness.


    Snapshots NovemberThe Office for Urban Initiatives organized a two week Snapshots project in Pasadena, completed in November 2013 and February 2014, with the help of volunteers from Fuller Seminary as well as the community. Snapshots provides a point- in- time picture of homelessness, panhandling and loitering in locations such as parks, freeway entrances, major roads and pedestrian thoroughfares. Members of the community have expressed concern based on anecdotal reports over the number of parsons who are homeless, and persons who panhandle and loiter by congregating at certain locations. Counting numbers of persons helps to understand the extent of the concern. The project was conducted twice at different points in time to observe fluctuations or patterns throughout different times of the day, days of the week as well as seasons of the year in the numbers of homeless persons and panhandlers in Pasadena parks and other various locations. The results from Snapshots were shared with the Pasadena Partnership to End Homelessness (formerly the Pasadena Housing and Homeless Network) to help inform service delivery and decision-making. The November 2013 Snapshots report can be found here.

    (626) 584-5200
    (800) 235-2222
    135 N. Oakland Ave.
    Pasadena, CA 91182