Denver Seminary, a nondenominational, evangelical school, requests a five-year grant for partial support for its Soul Care Initiative (SCI) program, an effort that seeks to provide spiritual renewal, physical rest and a supportive community for local Denver pastors. Focusing on executive-level pastors, the seminary will form cohorts of 20 to 30 clergy each who will gather regularly for nine months for facilitated monthly retreats, individual spiritual direction and personal prayer practices. In addition, the seminary will offer periodic retreats during pivotal seasons of the liturgical church calendar for alumni of the SCI program and other clergy throughout the Denver area. The aim is to cultivate a wider network of pastoral leaders who support one another in their ministries. To sustain this program, Denver Seminary will seek individual and corporate donors, church partnerships and sponsorships with organizations supporting pastoral leaders.
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Princeton Theological Seminary’s Iron Sharpening Iron program will equip women clergy with the capacities, agency, and savvy to negotiate challenging leadership contexts with a confidence that is born of competence. Its fundamental goal is to promote capable women to thrive in God’s calling in a way that has theological integrity and a sophisticated philosophy and practice. From the first group of disciples who gathered around Jesus, women have always been leaders in Christian communities. Yet women clergy are dramatically underrepresented in positions of leadership, and the church has made relatively little gain over the last decades in advancing gender equity among clergy at all levels of the profession, particularly at the most senior levels of congregational leadership. We will address this pressing issue by investing in gifted women leaders and providing access to cutting-edge leadership education. Princeton Seminary will convene faculty and practitioners from the church, non-profit, and business sectors to engage an interdisciplinary conversation about effective leadership and build a network of women leaders.
Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation (OPSF) requests a three-year grant for its Pastoral Leadership Revitalization Program, an effort to recharge the spiritual energy of pastors with the overall goal of revitalizing congregations. The program is an integrated mentoring and spiritual regeneration initiative for ordained clergy and lay pastors in the Central Nebraska, Missouri Union, and Missouri River Valley presbyteries and will involve both Presbyterian Church (USA) and a diverse ecumenical mix of clergy who serve as local pastors and lay pastors in small rural and urban congregations. The pastors will have opportunities to receive mentoring and coaching from experienced clergy, participate in pastor peer-to-peer networks, engage in retreats and spiritual rejuvenation activities and benefit from targeted actions to support their families. To sustain this work, OPSF will solicit funds from new donors and seek foundation grants.
The Moravian Church Northern Province (MCNP) seeks a five-year grant for partial support of the Moravian Clergy Connections Project. Conducted in partnership with the Moravian Church Southern Province (MCSP), the project consists of four initiatives that will form Moravian pastors from throughout the United States through spiritual direction, coaching, mentoring, cohort groups, and an interprovincial retreat that brings clergy together for mutual learning and support. They will collaborate with Moravian Theological Seminary to develop educational components and with the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America to seek ongoing funding. To sustain the effort, the MCNP will use earnings from an endowed fund, and the MCSP will draw on proceeds of a recent estate gift. Their goal is to enhance clergy health and leadership to equip them to support one another and their congregations to be more vital agents of God’s transforming love in the world.
Western Seminary, affiliated with Conservative Baptist Association of America, seeks a five-year grant for partial support to launch the Center for Pastoral Flourishing program (CPF), an effort to nurture and support the long-term well-being of pastors in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. The program will focus on new pastors early in their service, emerging leaders stepping into larger pastoral leadership roles, mid-career pastors encountering transitions in settings or roles, and seasoned pastors looking to contribute to the emerging next generation. The CPF will identify and intentionally incorporate more pastors into its leadership networks, sponsor forums on leadership practices that foster and sustain flourishing in ministry, form pastors into peer cohorts, produce pastoral leadership resources for personal and group learning, and provide coaching for pastors and congregations. To sustain the CPF, Western Seminary will charge participants a nominal fee and seek funding from partners who share a commitment to strong pastoral leadership.
Barton College, a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) collegiate institution in Wilson, North Carolina, is proud to launch the Center for Vocation and Rural Ministry (CVRM). CVRM is focused on supporting pastors of small congregations and congregations of color in the region of Eastern North Carolina. The Center, functioning as a program of the Barton College Center for Religious Studies, focuses on assisting pastors who serve in full-time and bi-vocational ministry. It offers short-term sabbatical experiences, spiritual support, and intellectual and social opportunities, as well as the possibility of mentorship and relational development with other regional pastors. Each year, Eastern North Carolina pastors may apply to participate in a two-year cohort in the Revive! Renewal Experiences. These experiences offer pastors an opportunity to have a retreat experience at Barton while college personnel provide pulpit supply for them. Cohort pastors focus on their well-being throughout their time in the program and are supported by spiritual directors. Pastors are given access to Barton College's fitness, intellectual, and spiritual resources. As an institution, Barton is committed to personal wellness and wholeness, and CVRM's offerings invite local pastors to experience the same.