Azusa Pacific University (APU), an evangelical school rooted in the Wesleyan theological heritage, requests a five-year grant for partial support for its Thriving in Ministry program, an effort to expand leadership resources and provide mentors for pastors serving congregations in urban communities, especially women in ministry and pastors of color. The university will develop and implement an educational program that includes three modules that help pastors: 1) assess their health and well-being; 2) foster and support peer and mentoring relationships with colleagues; and 3) identify and develop their leadership strengths. Program activities will include coursework, workshops, webinars, assessments, reflection exercises and one-on-one coaching. In addition, the effort will invest significant time and resources into identifying and training experienced pastors to serve as mentors. To sustain this effort, APU will build program elements into its operating budget, form strategic partnerships with external organizations, solicit donations and charge modest program fees.
Catawba College, affiliated with the United Church of Christ, requests a five-year grant to support its Catawba Clergy Network program to provide opportunities for rest, reflection, resources, and relationships for local and alumni/ae clergy. The Catawba Clergy Network will identify and focus on specific contexts of ministry within our network, beginning with part time or bivocational ministers and clergy in their first call. These pastors sharing similar contexts will be formed into cohorts. Local and alumni/ae clergy will be invited to Catawba Clergy Days to interact with Catawba faculty, students, and other community leaders for conversation, continuing education, networking, and reflection. The Catawba Clergy Network will also award small grants to pastors to support innovation and specific ministry needs.
Catholic Leadership Institute requests a four-year grant for partial support for its Revolutionizing Pastoral Placements: A New Way to Match, Appoint and Transition Catholic Priests to Parishes program. This endeavor seeks to move beyond the limits of the current diocesan placement system – often reactive and based on “plugging holes” – and create a leadership context in which priests build awareness of their strengths and a path for professional growth, parishes understand their unique charisms and ministry needs, and dioceses can think strategically into the future, armed with better information to align pastors and parishes. Catholic Leadership Institute will leverage innovative technology to assess the strengths and competencies of both priests and parishes in a diocese, as well as identify potential best-fit alignment between them. Catholic Leadership Institute will then work with diocesan personnel teams to proactively identify leadership needs and develop a transition and development plan for priests and parishes. Through this process, priests will have access to mentors and a network of peer and diocesan support. Catholic Leadership Institute will seek funds from diocesan partnerships and raise contributions from new donors to sustain this program.
The Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) seeks a five-year grant for partial support of its Thriving Together program, an effort to create a stronger, more vital culture of clergy mentoring across the CRCNA denomination that helps pastors negotiate key transitional challenges in their careers. The program will focus on pastors when their sense of vocation might be challenged or disrupted; in particular when pastors move from their first to their second congregational call, when they are nearing the end of their ministry careers, and when they are privately wrestling with their vocational future. Through regular gatherings of pastors, the development of leadership resources, the use of ministry assessment tools, and the fostering of mentoring relationships among clergy, the program seeks to foster peer relationships that promote mutuality and accountability among clergy. To sustain this program, the CRCNA will work closely with its regional assemblies and seek financial support from the denomination’s fund to support the professional development of clergy.
Located in Harlem, New York City, City Seminary of New York seeks in its five-year grant to support its Thriving in Ministry Initiative project. This is an effort to cultivate an expansive community of pastoral practice across often disconnected ministries and church traditions in the metropolitan area. Through collaborative inquiry and praxis reflection groups, spiritual direction retreats, portraiture, and annual gatherings, City Seminary hopes to connect pastors in similar and different seasons of ministry to a community of support and encouragement. The project proposes to nurture clergy faith and spirituality, invite clergy to listen to their congregational members, explore the importance of their family and intergenerational interactions, and make space for them to reflect on their congregation’s mission and purpose in a complex and ever-changing urban setting. City Seminary will incorporate project activities into its ongoing graduate and non-degree programs and its operating budget. The overarching vision is to make Thriving in Ministry part of the fabric of our seminary life now and into the future.
Columbia Theological Seminary seeks a five-year grant for its Thriving in Ministry Initiative project, an effort to support pastors in times of personal and professional transitions. Based in its Center for Lifelong Learning, Columbia will establish two new programs and enhance a third. First, Columbia will offer a series of colloquies for peer groups for black pastors, Latino/a clergy, clergy serving in rural ministry settings, and pastors serving particular populations. Peer groups will consist of 12 clergy each and will gather for two, three-day colloquies facilitated by two experienced clergy. Second, Columbia will create the Healthy Transitions program to provide support for clergy facing forced termination from their congregational ministries. Finally, Columbia will expand its Leadership in Ministry workshops, which provide pastors the opportunities to reflect on their ministries with peers and mentors. To sustain this project Columbia will charge modest program fees and seek support from donors.