Resilient Leaders Project at The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology strengthens the three streams of resilience — people, practices, and purpose — in the lives of Christian leaders. Over one year, cohorts of 8-16 church workers gather for four multi-day learning modules and monthly peer groups. Resilient Leaders Project provides clergy with opportunities to build relationships; practice spiritual, physical, and emotional fitness; and discern their vocational next steps to build generative communities. Leaders leave the program with deeper self- and other-understanding, expanded capacity to manage stress and change, and tools to create redemptive narratives from their personal and congregational stories. The project is committed to learning about the practice of pastoral resilience and its impact on congregations and communities. To sustain this work, The School’s advancement team will work with a development consultant to cultivate major donors interested in supporting this project.
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Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest (SSW) seeks a five-year grant for its Thriving in Bi-Vocational Ministry program, an effort to support new and recently ordained bi-vocational clergy as they transition from being students in local diocesan schools to primarily part-time priests and deacons in congregations. SSW will form each year six or more peer cohorts comprising six bi-vocational clergy that will meet once in person and thereafter by group videoconferencing. Each cohort will be led by a team of experienced pastor-mentors and receive instruction to strengthen leadership practices in three areas: pastoral care; spiritual formation for individuals and congregations; and preaching. To sustain this effort, SSW will raise funds from participating dioceses, draw on earnings from its endowment and cultivate gifts from new donors.
Cultivating Enough in the Care of Clergy is a two-year program for pastors who are serving small churches, churches in communities of color, and church plants and re-plants. Part of the Presbytery of Philadelphia’s Ministry and Leadership Incubator, this program is based upon the conviction that healthy leaders shape healthy congregations. The program uplifts a “theology of enough” both within the pastors and these contexts, which are often under-resourced and with their leaders facing burnout. Through cohorts of 10-12 pastors each, participants intentionally focus on “being enough, practicing enough, and offering enough” by being resourced through regular small group gatherings, retreats, deep rest, and one-on-one support. After completing the program, pastors are encouraged to be resources for incoming cohorts, spurning a larger culture of wellness within the named contexts of the presbytery by nurturing a connectional spirit alongside their peers of pastors. Inspiring pastors in these particular settings encourages health and vitality among these congregations in order to better transform their communities with the love and justice of the good news of Jesus Christ.
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.
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.
Missio Seminary, an inter/multidenominational, evangelical school, seeks a five-year grant for partial funding of its Program for Urban Leaders and Pastors in Transition (PULPIT); an effort to support pastors serving urban congregations in the Philadelphia metropolitan region, and help them negotiate various key professional transitions at different stages of their ministerial careers. The program will bring pastors together as peer colleagues to develop healthy support systems for each other, encourage them to attend to their own health and wellness, and equip them to address challenges faced by urban churches. In addition, this endeavor will help the pastors develop flourishing relationships with other pastors that cross racial, ethnic and socioeconomic boundaries, and encourage them to help their congregations bridge these divides. To sustain the program, Missio Seminary will incorporate programmatic components into its operating budget and its doctor of ministry degree program.