Community Developers Program

The Community Developers Program (CDP) emerged from the Civil Rights movement in the early 1960s. Black Community Developers were recognized by the 1968 General Conference and the program became part of Global Ministries U.S. programming.

Today, the CDP strives to build, maintain, promote and strengthen racial-ethnic minority congregations of The United Methodist Church through local congregations. Community developers engage their communities and the local church in a variety of activities depending on a community’s needs.

Twenty-two active sites across the five U.S. jurisdictions currently comprise the CDP network. Churches within the network are in active ministry within their communities, focusing on work including – but not limited to – education, housing and homelessness, immigration and racial equity.

In 2021, Global Ministries developed a new Annual Conference Community Developers cohort model to address the desire many United Methodist congregations have to be in partnership with their communities but cannot because they lack the funds necessary to sponsor a CDP on their own. The Cohort Program helps congregations within the same annual conference develop programs with other churches as a cohort.

Available grants for this program

Seed grants ($6,000) are provided to congregations to engage in discernment and exploratory activities to determine if their local church is interested in becoming a Community Developers Program site. These grants must be reviewed and endorsed by the applying church’s conference staff.

Tier Grants (5-year grants) are provided to CDP sites to supplement the salary of the community developer. The grant amount decreases after year 3.

CDP programmatic grants are awarded to existing sites for programmatic activities. Applicants are required to contribute at least 10% of the requested amount.

Salary support for community developers is provided through grants funded by the Human Relations Day Special Sunday offering.

All CDP grants are reviewed by the Human Relations Day advisory team.

How to apply

To learn more about the Community Developers Program, contact the Multiethnic Ministries office:

read stories of impact


Congregations within the five annual conferences accepted into the 2021 CDP cohort will work collaboratively in communities on issues of advocacy and social justice.


Decades of support and funding from Global Ministries’ Community Developers Program has helped Buena Vista UMC increase outreach within its community.