events that ignite your imagination

Ignite works at the intersection of social justice, spirituality and scholarship. We create and facilitate different convenings and events that mix activists, scholars, folks with an interest in spirituality, and artists.


Our meetings are a little different because of this. We not only host people who are doing things in the world, we also get people together to actually do things — from leading edge scholarship, to story sharing.

Last year we welcomed Rinku Sen, Cornel West, and Andrea Smith to campus.

This year we’re planning an exciting conference focused on economic inequality — the New Story of Work, as well as the social justice version of PSR’s experiential interfaith spirituality event, Sacred Snapshots.


The Ignite Institute is helping to create a world where we all can flourish.

We do this by providing education and training for spiritually-rooted changemakers, excavating and communicating the transformational narratives within progressive spiritual traditions, and by anchoring a network of faith communities, social justice organizations, and activists working towards economic justice.


The Ignite Institute is incubator and hub for spirituality and social transformation. We are anchoring a community where spiritual leaders, social innovators, community leaders, and artists have the clarity and capacity to create a just/moral organization, movement and relationships.

Working for a better world can bring together a diverse community of varying religious and faith traditions grounded in key values, which CSST seeks to embody. These values include:


  • Love and Compassion: We are anchored in the good news that God’s love is for all of creation.
  • Spiritual Practice: We believe that spiritual practice transforms our work and us.
  • Justice: We seek justice for every person, every community, and the creation we are a part of.

We believe that formation in spiritual practices that nurture these values transforms our work, the world, and us.


The change makers are facing ever more complex challenges and diminishing resources need to create lasting change.  To be effective change-agents, organizations and leaders will have to go beyond avoiding burnout and hopelessness among staff, members and volunteers. We will have to cultivate the spiritual grit needed to sustain our work for decades; we will need to cultivate the moral imagination needed to project a transformative vision of world where all can flourish.

There is a growing awareness that no single leader, innovation or social movement can produce the scale of change our nation, much less our planet, needs to be sustainable. We will need to join with each other in adaptive organizations and flexible networks.


Our Theory of Change

To create social transformation, we will need to educate, inspire, and awaken a critical mass of activists and leaders who harness the organizational and spiritual resources of organizations, communities, and faith traditions.  These activists and leaders need to create and communicate a deeper vision of change.

We need spiritually grounded leaders whose work emerges not just from a desire to stop injustice, but from a vision to create justice for all. We need people who can exercise not just moral leadership, but the moral imagination needed to envision and create a new relationships, organizations, systems and structure create full flourishing on our planet.


Founded by Pacific School of Religion in 2013, the Ignite Institute (originally the Center for Spiritual and Social Transformation) exists to support, inspire, and train those who are working towards social justice in the world.