Forward Movement acquires online learning platform ChurchNext

Online learning company ChurchNext has been acquired by Forward Movement, expanding the organization’s ability to fulfill its mission to inspire disciples and empower evangelists. This gives the 84-year-old ministry of the Episcopal Church a modern digital platform to more effectively help individuals and congregations thrive in their faith, by seeking online learning opportunities at their own pace and targeted to their own needs.

“We know that Christian formation is vital to spiritual growth, and traditional models do not work for many people,” said the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement. “ChurchNext courses allow people to learn at their own pace, on their own schedule.”

Chris Yaw

“What an opportunity to spread the message of God’s love!” said the Rev. Chris Yaw, ChurchNext founder. “Both organizations will benefit from this acquisition, with existing and future ChurchNext users seeing an enhanced and expanded experience as well. Our vision has always been for every Episcopal parish to have its own online school, and our new home with Forward Movement gets us a step closer to this goal. We’re excited for this next chapter of our ministry.”

ChurchNext offers courses so people can learn at home, and there are also courses for congregations to use in group settings. Yaw said, “With ChurchNext, any church can offer a Sunday morning or midweek class with some of the best teachers and respected experts on a wide variety of topics.”

Gunn added, “ChurchNext has proven to be a reliable, user-friendly delivery vehicle for convenient, affordable, and high-quality discipleship and evangelism materials that benefit congregations and their members. We remind people regularly that Forward Movement is not a publishing company, we’re a discipleship and evangelism ministry, and this step will help us further realize that mission in the 21stCentury.”


Based in suburban Detroit, ChurchNext launched in August 2013 with 28 online classes. Since then, more than 25,000 people from 30+ countries have taken one of ChurchNext’s 300+ courses, which have featured instructors like Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Parker Palmer, Phyllis Tickle, Stanley Hauerwas, and Nadia Bolz Weber; just to name a few.

The ChurchNext team will stay on with the organization, including Yaw, as ChurchNext seeks to expand its service to the Episcopal Church and beyond. Look for more announcements of new offerings in the weeks to come.

To celebrate the announcement, ChurchNext has already released a new “Big Class” with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on his new “Way of Love” initiative. The course will be available for FREE to all from July 2-14, coinciding with the 79thGeneral Convention of The Episcopal Church. You can find the course here.

 ChurchNext, a ministry of Forward Movement, creates online Christian learning experiences that shape disciples. Along with our partners, we are devoted to helping people grow in their Christian faith, improve their lives, and better the world. Learn more at

Inspiring disciples and empowering evangelists around the globe every day, Forward Movement has been producing excellent, innovative resources to encourage spiritual growth in individuals and congregations for more than eighty years. Learn more at