North Park Theological Seminary’s Thriving in Ministry grant is focusing on three main areas: Thriving Prophetically, Thriving Spiritually, and Thriving Vocationally. Our goal is to develop and implement programs and initiatives that will support our pastors in these key areas of their ministry. We intend to do this by: Developing peer-mentoring programs; Providing opportunities for pastors to explore the connection between their pastoral calling and social issues facing the church and world today, and; Creating continuing education opportunities for trained spiritual directors who are either themselves pastors or are providing spiritual direction to pastors, helping them enhance their interior life. To fulfill this goal we are committed to working with our pastors to determine how best we can serve them in reaching this goal and ensuring that the efforts we invest in through this grant will have a long lasting impact on the ability of our pastors to thrive in ministry.
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Taylor University, a nondenominational school in the evangelical tradition, seeks a five-year grant for its Sacred Roots: Thriving in Ministry Project. This effort will form at least 20 locale-based pastoral mentoring groups for pastors serving congregations in under-resourced urban, rural and incarcerated communities to foster ministerial friendships and build relationships between new and experienced clergy. Working collaboratively with external partners, Taylor will host four consultations for pastors to identify potential mentors, collect best practices for leading under-resourced congregations and explore Christian classic literature in spirituality to find sources for pastoral nourishment and support. Facilitated by mentors and clergy recognized for their wisdom, the program will invite clergy to join peer cohorts of up to 10 pastors each to explore together leadership challenges posed by particular ministry contexts. Each session will focus on a guided reading from among 16 Christian spiritual classics identified at the opening consultation. To sustain this effort, Taylor’s development office will identify and solicit funding from individuals and partner organizations.
New York Theological Seminary (NYTS) seeks a five-year grant for its Mentoring for Thriving in Ministry in the City project. This three-pronged project seeks to develop effective mentoring for pastors serving in urban ministries, especially NYTS graduates as well as other pastors in the New York City metropolitan region. The project will include a research component to examine and understand the effective mentoring practices for pastors in diverse urban ministry contexts. NYTS also will introduce mentoring for all ministerial candidates in its degree programs, many of whom already serve congregations, and increase resources for mentoring for graduates and other pastors in the region. To sustain this project, NYTS will fully integrate mentoring into degree programs for pastoral ministry, create a permanent office that provides resources for mentoring to pastors, and share the findings of its research through academic publications and other appropriate media.