Urban. immersive. education.

This fall, Taproot invited 12 students to immerse themselves in the diverse neighborhoods of South Philadelphia. Kivu Gap Year, a beloved partner in Denver, currently contracts with Taproot to host students each fall. Many thanks to Annie (2015 cohort) for putting this video together!

Education rooted in community & 
commited to reconciliation. 

This is what we are all about. We want the world to be a better place for all of us, and we have some thoughts on how to get there.

  1. Reimagine Education - To us, education seems like the single best place to start, but not not your typical student-teacher university style education. No. Education belongs in the field, the streets, the neighborhoods and homes of people different than ourselves. That deep life-changing stuff, the stuff capable of transforming lives, inspiring revolutions, and igniting leaders and change makers from all walks of life, that's what we call education. And it's home is with the people; embedded in community and hidden in plain sight. It's free, it's powerful, and it's been completely misunderstood. 
  2. Commit to Reconciliation - Education is merely the coming together of thousands of acts of reconciliation. It may sound simple, but we believe there is no better education than one that equips people to walk in the shoes of another, no matter how similar or different they may be. By committing to dialogue, appreciating the power of story, practicing empathy and embracing diversity, we believe education reaches it's fullest potential. 

Please click through some of our 2015 cohort photos below. 

What we do

As an emerging and vibrant effort to stir the creative force of students and communities, the Taproot Collaborative invites students to appreciate and participate in the complex and exciting world of Christian Community Development. To accomplish this, we have developed a hands-on curriculum that brings together three of the most important principles in quality Christian ministry with three of the most popular and effective principles in today’s business world. Our goal is simple: to equip students with the skills and insights necessary to invest themselves wholly to the work of lasting community transformation around the world.

First, we believe in the compelling Biblical precedent for Christians of all ages to take seriously God’s call to relocate amidst poverty, diversity and marginalization, reconcile ourselves to one another, God and creation, and re-create our world as skilled disciples and change makers. Additionally, and as apart of our call to be skillful disciples, we believe it is imperative for Christian workers to be familiar with the processes of creating new things. Therefore,  we introduce the three facets of Design Thinking (Inspiration, Ideation, and Implementation) and practice together with local community leaders their application to real-time problem solving.

Where we do it

Our location is important to us. Though we believe God’s kingdom stretches to all parts of the globe, we have chosen to concentrate our lives to a couple of diverse neighborhoods in South Philadelphia. We found that by planting ourselves close enough together for life overlap to occur, our time and efforts could be used more wisely, and in fact, help us to experience the Gospel anew. With a vibrant small business district, over a dozen refugee and immigrant organizations, and economic diversity ranging from upper middle class to below the poverty line, all within a mile’s walking distance, we believe this place makes the perfect home for us and is incredibly fertile soil for God’s kingdom to grow. 

Additionally, maintaining a global perspective is not forgone by choosing to root locally. In fact, we are convinced that it is precisely such commitments that make long term global partnership possible. Because we are able to easily network and partner with a wide range of populations from around the world, we can help build and support initiatives in other countries in ways that otherwise would be impossible. The deeper our roots stretch within the diversity represented in South Philadelphia, the deeper our impact may be in communities elsewhere. 

Why we do it

Our desire is to bring glory to God in all that we say and do, and we are convinced that the most effective and transformative events in history are rooted in the commitment of a few people to fill their lives with small acts of faithfulness. Though we make no pretense to do this perfectly, we do strive to live as faithful participants in God’s story and skillful disciples of Jesus. Our hope is that well equipped and faithfully persistent Christians would become actively involved with their entire lives in the work of community transformation around the world.