A few weeks back, a dear friend and I were gathered around a table eating dinner when she asked me: “Karley, what is FWE?” To give context, my friend is a successful, young, female entrepreneur in Los Angeles. She is innovative and theologically thoughtful and cares deeply about her work. As I briefly shared about the network, she gently replied and said “do I fit into the FWE network?” As I quickly responded yes, her last comment was: “Karley, I am a builder, and I am hungry for more, how is this network helpful?”

“I am a builder, and I am hungry for more, how is this network helpful?”

Recently, I entered into a new role as the Network and Collaboration Manager at Fuller’s De Pree Center. On paper, my job entails building relationships with key stakeholders in the Faith, Work, Economic, and Vocation Network nationwide. Building points of connection, sketching out bridges and maps for people and organizations in this ecosystem to flourish in their work. The more I make sense of my work, this job and those around me, this role very much feels like the formation of building connective tissue. When thinking of the metaphor of the body, connective tissue functions mainly to: bind and support, protect, insulate, store reserve fuel, and transport substances within the body. Without connective tissue, it is impossible for the body to function in its fullness, and work in tandem with the rest of the body.

In the past couple of months, I have met with amazing leaders, like my dear friend. These leaders are people who have catalyzed and brought life into their organizations. Traditionally, this network began among business leaders, usually of the upper/upper middle class white male variety. Academics were added largely through the work of the Kern Family Foundation and Oikonomia Network. Some of the best theological content and work has been birthed here. In my very short time in this space, I have seen very subtle yet powerful shifts. I have seen entrepreneurs trickling into conferences, content shifting from targeting local church pastors to Christian marketplace leaders. Women and people of color, are being invited to tables of leadership. These leaders are Christians who are hungry for more: more connections, ideas, innovation, and more Christ. The question is no longer: how do we create good resources on faith and work, but how do we learn from one another? Mutual learning is the key to move us forward, the foundation of the connective tissue being formed.

Our hope is that this FWE Network serves as a space where Christian leaders in all spaces can come and learn, grow, and collaborate with one another to better holistically understand faith, work, and economics.

Our hope is that this FWE Network serves as a space where Christian leaders in all spaces can come and learn, grow, and collaborate with one another to better holistically understand faith, work, and economics.

The call of this network isn’t to go back to our individual corners, but to look to see who is next to us, who are we bumping up against? Our mutual learning begins here. This network is most helpful when diversity is represented. Diversity in thought, theology, race and profession.

I am a millennial woman, seeking Christ in my own work, and a year ago I didn’t understand why FWE would be helpful for someone like me. However, I have witnessed the power of relationship and collaboration in the FWE Network in a short period of time, and I am deeply encouraged. God is at work. In my quest to come alongside and help form connective tissue, I ask that you join me. We have not reached any places of arrival, and the FWE Network will always remain incomplete. There is always more people, learning, conversations, and questions.

My name is Karley. I am a female theologian, gatherer, and builder, and I am hungry for more. But more particularly, I am hungry to see the FWE Network flourish.


Karley Hatter is the De Pree Center’s Network and Collaboration Manager. She is called to strengthen the Faith, Work, and Economic Network (F.W.E). She aims to build strategic, vibrant, and meaningful relationships in and around these conversations that lead to consistent collaboration for future endeavors. Her heart for the F.W.E. Network is to continuously lead with empathy and vision that in turn leads to those on the margins feeling welcomed to these spaces of leadership.