Sara Joy Proppe '04

Founder, The Proximity Project

Witherspoon Fellow

Originally from Texas, Sarah Joy holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Texas A&M University. She describes her time at the Witherspoon Fellowship as “life-changing.” In particular, the daily prayers that the Fellows recited together made an impact on her. “Reciting the truths that come from of old, in concert with other believers, gave me a beautiful understanding and vision for what it truly means to be a member of the sainthood. This, in turn, gave me courage to enter the public realm with my convictions and hopes for redemption.”  

After the Witherspoon Fellowship, Sara Joy went on to earn a Master’s degree in Community & Regional Planning with an emphasis in Urban Revitalization at Iowa State University. She currently works in St. Paul, Minnesota as a Project Manager with a commercial real estate development firm, overseeing the design and development of urban historic rehab and mixed-use building projects. Outside of her job, she has started an initiative in the Twin Cities called Proximity Project, which blends her education, passion, and the fundamental principles explored at Witherspoon Fellowship.

As Sara Joy reflects, “Our cities are the current setting for the Great Redemptive Story, and the setting matters!” The Proximity Project seeks to orient churches on how to strategically engage the built environment for human flourishing in their neighborhoods. Sara has organized a city-wide conference for pastors and urban design practitioners and convened a series of “lunch & learns” for interested parties to engage further on this topic.