Union Theological Seminary is home to RISE Together, a national mentorship network specifically for women of color that connects seminarians and early/mid-career clergy with experienced female ministers, pastors, scholars and community leaders. Founded as an initiative of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (Union) in collaboration with the women of color in Ministry (WOCIM) Project, RISE supports both the professional and pastoral formation of women of color as they embark on ministerial careers and serve in church and faith-based leadership positions. RISE Together program staff are working to develop a sustainable model for the recruitment and retention of mentees, mentors and host institutions. Currently, the mentorship network has 10 cohorts in 7 cities—New York, Atlanta, Nashville, Chicago, Lancaster, Pa., Oakland and Los Angeles with a total of 104 mentees. Host institutional partners include, RISE headquarters Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, American Baptist Seminary of the West, Innovative Spaces for Asian American Christianity, Vanderbilt Divinity School, Interdenominational Theological Seminary, Lancaster Theological Seminary and McCormick Theological Seminary.
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The PLNU Center for Pastoral Leadership is excited about the potential to further its mission to resource pastors and partner with them in ministry through the Ministerial Coaching Initiative. The purpose of this initiative is to provide professional developmental coaching to church-planting pastors, pastors serving small-membership churches and pastors serving congregations serving communities of color. Through a personal and cohort coaching model, encouraging peer-to-peer connection and resourcing between pastors, this initiative provides tailored training that addresses the specific leadership challenges these pastors encounter. We hope to help pastors navigate the unprecedented challenges they face today with congruence, authenticity and courage.
Massachusetts Baptist Multicultural Ministries (MBMM) is a 501(c)(3) organization whose vision statement is “Weaving God’s Love Across Cultures.” And our mission is simple; we call it “ACE”: Advocacy for, Celebration & Empowerment of New Americans.
Since 2007, MBMM has assisted immigrant pastors with a number of cultural, linguistic, practical and socio-economic challenges with designing and implementing programs that meet the diverse challenges of ethnic pastors and their most imminent needs. Both the small white churches’ pastors and immigrant pastoral leaders benefit from our programs that challenge them to step out of their comfort zones, culturally and theologically, to assist them in improving collegial relations, intercultural and ecumenical, professional and personal growth, and learning. To this end, Lilly Grant resources would aid us in the Thriving Pastoral Ministry Program (TPMP) to support these pastors, allowing them the framework to appreciate and embrace diverse theological and cultural ministerial praxis, empowering pastoral agency to thrive in the ministry. Establishing dynamic teams of different cultural and theological backgrounds, supported and facilitated by a trained coach, each Ethnic Clergy Group (ECG) and Intercultural Clergy Group (ICG) bridges the cultural and theological silos, providing an intercultural peer network to: pray for and with, learn from one another, offer opportunities for thinking together and working with richness of theological and cultural diversity, address solutions to issues present in current ministerial settings in the US, and doing so within a climate of embracing hospitality and mutual accountability. TPMP immersion will imbue pastors with a spirit of radical hospitality, becoming pastoral agency for change, able to lead their respective faith communities, imitating the values of the Kingdom of God. The principal of the TPMP program objectives is to provide the ECGs and ICGs with a 4-year development plan. MBMM will hire a Program Manager and Consultants, including: Cultural Advocates, Peer Coaching, Program Evaluators; and train coaches to run the TPMP, which will be resourced and supported by MBMM. Aligned with the Thriving in Ministry Initiative 2020, we pray for the opportunity and resources to support the full scope of this work outlined herein.
Lexington Theological Seminary (LTS), affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), seeks a five-year grant for its Thriving in Ministry: Strengthening Pastoral and Congregational Ministry program. The program seeks to support clergy who are connected with LTS and serving in congregations to help them strengthen their role as pastoral leaders. Focusing especially on pastors in the first five years of ministry, the seminary will gather clergy into small cohort groups that will meet for a three-year period and provide them with mentors and educational leadership development resources. In addition, LTS will conduct research on bi-vocational clergy who are serving in rural and urban contexts as well as pastors serving Latino/a and African-American congregations to understand how the seminary may support their personal and professional growth. To support this effort, LTS will incorporate targeted programs which support pastoral thriving in its capital campaign.
International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC), a denomination of more than 1,700 churches in the United States, seeks a five-year grant for partial support for its Thriving Throughout the Seasons of Pastoral Ministry program. Through this program, 180 to 200 pastoral leaders — women, men, pastors serving multiethnic/multilingual congregations, church planters, and those in transition from rural to urban ministry settings and vice versa — will engage in multiple-year peer learning and mentoring communities with pastors serving similar size congregations so they might build a peer network and explore together leadership challenges posed by their settings. To sustain this effort, IPHC will launch a deferred giving and capital campaign effort dedicated to this program and will incorporate elements into its operating budget.
George Fox University seeks a five-year grant for its Portland Seminary to launch the Institute for Pastoral Thriving. This effort will build one-year peer cohorts of eight to twelve pastors each to foster authentic relationships, offer safe spaces for exploring pastoral leadership challenges, nurture spiritual disciplines, and provide a network of allies to support their own thriving in ministry. The Institute will directly address challenges to pastoral thriving, particularly professional transitions and the rapidly changing demographics of the Pacific Northwest. It also will offer an annual symposium for all cohorts to gather as a larger body alongside the seminary community with the intent to foster fruitful conversations regarding pastoral spiritual renewal. To sustain this project, George Fox University will seek funding from denominations and congregations and provide advanced standing credit in the seminary degree programs for project participants.