Northwest University is home to the Project for Thriving Church Planters, which enhances the personal thriving of pastors starting new churches in the Pentecostal/Charismatic tradition. Our program is focused on those from underserved populations: African American, female, Hispanic/Latinx, and rural pastors. The core data supporting our efforts indicate that lack of mentoring is a major felt need of church planters. These pastors tend to live in isolation, operating with a lack of available mentoring resources and barriers that can prevent open sharing with peers. We utilize a compelling and confidential system of peer and “wise guide” mentoring in a group format to contribute to the personal thriving of these pastors. This system takes the form of a series of two-year mentoring cohorts in which pastors from these underserved populations meet monthly in small groups led by “wise guides.” These monthly sessions are supplemented by larger events: a retreat, conference, and site visit. With this initiative, Northwest University is also building an academic curriculum that supports planting from a data-driven perspective, together with a continuing education program that will feature our findings.
Center for Thriving Church Planters