The history of CREDO extends back nearly two decades when, in response to a perceived need to develop a churchwide resource to contribute to the well-being of the clergy of the Episcopal Church, the Church Pension Fund formed the Wellness Initiatives Advisory Committee to explore options for plan participants.
In the mid-1990s, the committee researched and then recommended a number of pension plan initiatives to enhance benefit options for clergy and their spouses. The committee also recommended a program to give clergy a chance to pause—to evaluate their spiritual well-being, their gifts and skills, and their vocational call through an eight-day discernment conference. Since then, CREDO has held more than 275 eight-day CREDO conferences. CREDO participants number more than 6,000 members of the clergy, more than 130 bishops, and more than 400 lay employees.
With the support of the Church Pension Fund, CREDO has engaged crises in the Episcopal Church with health and wellness resources. Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, CREDO responded with "Weathering the Storms" to assist bishops, clergy and church staff along the devastated Gulf Coast. A second resiliency conference, "Lighting the Path,” focused on clergy and clergy families. Immediately after the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, CREDO held a series of clergy and lay leaders conferences on the Caribbean island. Between 2009-2012, CREDO supported the four reorganizing dioceses of Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, San Joaquin, and Quincy in a three-year program called Strength for the Journey after their episcopal leadership departed.
CREDO also performed the administration for Fresh Start, a diocesan-led program that fostered healthy relationships among clergy and congregations in times of transition, and College for Bishops. In 2005, Presbyterian CREDO launched a partnership with Episcopal CREDO and has held three dozen conference for Presbyterian clergy
In 2013, CREDO introduces the CREDO I Six-Day conference opportunity and a two-year CREDO I for Recently Ordained Clergy (ROC) conference—new conference types to accompany CREDO I, CREDO for Retired Clergy, CREDO for Bishops, Spanish CREDO, and CREDO².
The Latin word, CREDO, can be translated as “I believe,” but it has a much deeper meaning. Literally translated, it means, “I give my heart.” CREDO encourages participants to rediscover the passionate essence of their life and ministry in the context of their faith, their relationships, and community. Through the strength of a holistic approach to wellness, participants are invited to examine their minds, bodies, spirits, and hearts by examining four significant areas of their lives—spiritual, vocational, health, and financial.
The CREDO Core Values:
- An intentional Christ-centered community;
- A work of the heart, mind, body and spirit;
- A living stream with a sustainable spirit;
- A four-step life cycle process of identity, discernment, practice, and transformation.
For a comprehensive look at the CREDO journey, download a pdf with the full history of CREDO.