Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute

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Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute2019-09-13T11:59:07-05:00

Save the Date: July 15-19, 2019
25th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry

Movement-building is hard work. We can’t do it alone. We can’t do it virtually. One generation alone can’t get it done. We need each other and deep spiritual sustenance to keep going and create the just world our children deserve. CDF’s Proctor Institute is where we can sing and pray, strategize and struggle, organize and advocate, and share our stories—our hurts and hopes, pain and passion for justice, in Beloved Community. The spiritual home of the children’s movement, the Proctor Institute on the storied grounds of CDF Haley Farm is where we refresh and renew so that we can continue the hard, hopeful, sacred work of realizing Dr. King’s vision for every child and ending child poverty. Plan now to join us every summer. We can’t wait to welcome you home.

Join clergy, seminarians, religious educators, community organizers, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates in the intergenerationalinterracial, multi-ethnic, ecumenical community pursuing justice for our nation’s children. Whether you are a first-timer, regular attendee, or alum returning after time away, we are eager to welcome you home to CDF Haley Farm for an unforgettable week of preaching, teaching, workshops, conversation, singing, strategizing, making art and building the movement for children.  At CDF’s Proctor Institute, civil rights icons and students, community organizers and seminarians, advocates and artists form a Beloved Community committed to making Dr. King’s vision of our nation cherishing every child and ending child poverty a reality.

“If you want the opportunity and the chance to meet, hear, and see history in the making, come to this Institute. It opens your mind, heart, and soul to issues you didn’t think were important or relevant and drives you to do more and better.” – Joi Adams, first-time participant

first-time participant

“Haley is a place to rest and renew your spirit, challenge your faith, establish friendships with kindred spirits, hear great preaching, and then be ready and willing to go home and speak out and stand up for children!” –  Steve Wiard, nine-year participant


Seminarians who participate in CDF’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry for course credit will attend the Seminarian Pre-Session on Monday (the first day of Institute) from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and will meet with our Proctor Professors-in-Residence each evening during dinner to discuss and reflect on the day’s sessions and for further engagement.  There is also a seminarian post-session immediately following the formal conclusion of the Proctor Institute.

Seminary students who are interested in registering for the credit-bearing graduate course should sign up through their seminaries (to pay for and receive credit hours) and register for CDF’s Proctor Institute (including the seminary sessions) at the discounted price of $200.00.

There is an opportunity for scholarships for seminarians age 35 and under. For more information on scholarships and course credit please contact Janet Wolf at

We are proud of our partnerships with the schools listed below and look forward to growing this list in the years to come!

Candler School of Theology
Chicago Theological Seminary
Christian Theological Seminary
Columbia Theological Seminary
Drew Theological School, Drew University
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Hood Theological Seminary
Louisville Presbyterian Theological School
Memphis Theological Seminary
New Brunswick Theological Seminary
School of Theology, Sewanee University
Wake Forest University School of Divinity

Union Presbyterian Seminary at Charlotte
Union Theological Seminary
Vanderbilt Divinity School
Wesley Theological Seminary
Yale Divinity School

Families with Children

Children ages five through 15 who have pre-registered will participate in the abbreviated CDF Freedom Schools program during the three full days of CDF’s Proctor Institute. At this time we do not have child care available for children under the age of 5.

Location, Days, and Hours

The Proctor Institute CDF Freedom Schools program held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday begins at 8:45 a.m. and concludes at 4:00 p.m.  This schedule is designed to enable parents or other caregivers to participate fully in the morning plenaries and the 2:00-4:00 p.m. workshops.  The children will meet in the Lodge in the morning from 8:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and then join their parents or other caregivers for lunch. After lunch, the Freedom School will resume at 1:45 p.m. with a variety of field trips and other activities. Children are invited and encouraged to accompany their parents or caregivers to the late afternoon options, evening worship, and Friday closing. Children in the Proctor Institute Freedom School will prepare a presentation that will be included in the final closing program on Friday, ending at 11:30 a.m.

The CDF Freedom Schools program will include outdoor activities and play. Please be sure your child has the proper sunscreen, hat, and clothing for the weather. The children may have the opportunity to play in the sprinkler or enjoy other water fun, so please send them with a bathing suit and towel or an extra set of clothes each day.


The Proctor Institute Freedom School site is led by Servant Leaders who are Ella Baker Trainers (EBTs). EBTs are an extension to the national staff and aid in the successful implementation of the CDF Freedom Schools program. EBTs help to facilitate training, especially on the Integrated Reading Curriculum, to Executive and Project Directors, Site Coordinators, and college-aged Servant Leader Interns. Your children will be in caring and capable hands for these rich and fun-filled days.


Children must have pre-registered to participate in the Proctor Institute CDF Freedom School program. There is no on-site registration for children who participate in the Freedom Schools program; staff numbers are determined based on pre-registration and we will not have the capacity to serve additional children safely.


The cost to register a child for the Proctor Institute Freedom Schools program is $175 which includes all meals provided Monday dinner through Friday lunch, materials, and participation in the program.


For questions about the CDF Freedom School program at Proctor Institute for children ages 5-15 who pre-register, email Shaquite Pegues at