Clapham Institute’s mission is resourcing Christians for the next 50 years.
We’re developing resources for your kids. And their kids. And their kids.
Our resources include blogs, podcasts, books, and short videos. We also offer tailor-made planning, consulting, mentoring, and advisory services. We offer these online or in-person.
But why 50 years? Simple. The resources developed by the American version of evangelical Christianity over the last 50 years are ineffective. They’re based on the American interpretation of the Enlightenment.
This interpretation is over. It was popular from 1800 to 1815. After that, behavioral studies began undermining its assumptions. By 1900, the American interpretation of the Enlightenment was over.
The American version of evangelical Christianity hasn’t paid attention to that. It began in the early 1800s, feeding off the American interpretation of the Enlightenment. But the American version of evangelical Christianity is anti-intellectual, so while it was popular after 1815, it didn’t see what was coming.
It didn’t see how the American version of evangelicalism, based in this Enlightenment, is undermining itself. It doesn’t see that it’s coming to an end.
Clapham Institute does.
We see it in the rise of religious nones, the fastest-growing percentage of the US population. Nones imagine Christianity as “been there done that.” The American version of evangelical Christianity offers few if any effective resources for impacting this population.
We see it in the rise of exiles. They’re Christians who have given up on the American version of evangelical Christianity. Exiles live their faith outside the evangelical church.
Clapham Institute’s resources are effective because they’re based on assumptions predating the American version of the Enlightenment. In the conservative Christian tradition, we last see these assumptions operating in the Clapham Sect that helped abolish the English Slave Trade.
That’s why Clapham Institute is named after the Clapham Sect.
Founder & President, Clapham Institute
With over 40 years of ministry experience, Dr. Michael Metzger is a recognized leader in translating the gospel for a post-Christian age. He did this as a campus minister, church planter, pastor and, since 2002, as the Founder and President of Clapham Institute, based in Annapolis, Maryland.
In this role, Metzger developed accessible images and language for post-Christian cultures, especially religious “nones” and exiles. He’s served as a cultural analyst and mentor to emerging church leaders.
Prior to founding Clapham Institute, Metzger served on Cru staff, growing the ministry at Louisiana State University from a handful of students to over 300. In 1987, he founded Bay Area Community Church in Annapolis, Maryland. In the first five years, the church grew to over 500 congregants from an initial group of 18. According to a University of Maryland study, approximately 60 percent of the growth was due to people converting to Christ, many of them post-Christian.
In 1995, Metzger stepped away from the pastorate and began facilitating business and professional ‘open forum’ discussions throughout the Baltimore/Washington DC area. In 1997, he joined The Trinity Forum, developing Osprey Point Leadership Center, a 15-acre waterfront property on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that served as a gathering place for leaders. Metzger also consulted for several ministries in the United States and Western Europe, helping them reframe the faith, as well as consulting for some of the world’s top companies since founding Clapham Institute in 2002.
Metzger earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Michigan University (history), a Masters of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois. He married Kathy Tipton in 1981. They have three adult children and nine – yes nine – grandchildren who are well-loved.