Together, we will create a supportive foundation and structured network to renew the faith of pastors by enabling a conversation about identity, purpose, meaning and legacy-producing activities. University of the Ozarks, founded on the frontier two years before Arkansas’s statehood by the Presbyterian congregation, serves rural, first-generation and historically under-represented students and is uniquely positioned to implement a Thriving in Ministry Grant in service to pastors. The challenges of life seem to have narrowed, or possibly even hobbled, the agency of many pastors. We strive to rejuvenate, revitalize and refresh our colleagues. The goals of the initiative come from the pastors’ own words.
- Create a structured way for pastors to clarify their calling and align their teams to serve communities
- Develop a robust and comprehensive leadership training that meets pastors where they are, including training for teams from each of the congregations as appropriate
- Facilitate renewed communal and individual connection to the heart of the Gospel
- Create opportunities to learn to become a unifying force in the community
- Develop a more thorough understanding of “rural” from a sociological perspective, seeing communities, no matter how small, as asset-rich