Our Theory of Change

Transformation from the Inside Out
byJeff Haanen

When I’m talking with different members of the Denver Institute for Faith & Work Community, a few questions consistently come up:

“What problem are you trying to solve at Denver Institute?”

“How are you addressing these problems?”

“What are you doing to help solve these problems?”

“Who are you serving?”

The answers to these questions frame everything from our strategic planning to our finances to our internal staff meetings. Read on to learn more about our theory of change.


When we look at the world today, it’s clear: our communities are hurting. Loneliness, social unrest, deep divides, and the shrinking of the Church.

In our secular culture, the gospel has been chained. Faith is present in our culture, but segmented off from our work, our industries, and our civic life. Consequently, most believers live deeply divided lives between private and public, values and facts, faith and work. 

Yet the Bible gives us a beautiful picture of the breadth of redemption summed up in the world “shalom.” The gospel heals our relationship with God, with ourselves, with others, and culture itself.  God is renewing all things, and we’re called to be a part of that mission.


We believe transformation takes place from the inside out.

1. We work with people on deep spiritual and emotional health, with the conviction that deep inner transformation is core to being fully human. We also teach people to think theologically. Change begins in our interior worlds.

2. We move people to create good work and embrace relationships, applying the gospel to their working lives and core relationships. Change moves to our exterior world.

3. We move people to taking leadership and serving others sacrificially, humbly caring for the vulnerable and addressing the big cultural, social, and economic issues of our day. Change finally moves into our  civic life.


Our programs draw people “from the outside in.”

First, we serve a growing community of men and women throughout Denver who are learning about the gospel and its relevance for their work and actively demonstrating the gospel in and through their jobs. Through our podcast, evening forums, public events, local gatherings, and virtual events, we reach out to the public wanting to take the first step exploring faith, work, and culture. 

Second, we create content like videos, books, podcasts, and educational resources that “equip the saints for works of service” through their vocations, making whole-life discipleship commonplace for churches and Christians across the country. 

Finally, we collaborate with other vocation-focused institutions across the U.S. to learn, strengthen one another, and multiply networks of fellowships to create transformative impact on their communities and cities.


At Denver Institute, we serve leaders. We serve men and women who can make long-term, systemic change through their careers, and do so from a heart rooted in Christ’s love. As we challenge people to faithful leadership, we can have a multiplying effect on our cities as men and women embrace the healing power of the Gospel in their work, communities, and cities.

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Jeff Haanen is the Founder & CEO of Denver Institute for Faith & Work. Jeff lives with his wife and four daughters in Littleton, Colorado, and attends Wellspring Church.