Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) seeks a five-year grant to support its Thriving on the Journey: A Process for Pastoral Leaders program. This effort aims to support new and midcareer Mennonite pastors as they negotiate key professional transitions to help them address challenges and lead their congregations more confidently. During this two-year program, new pastors will meet individually every other week with wise pastoral mentors and together as cohorts of five pastors each for three extended weekend gatherings. Cohorts of six midcareer pastors each will meet with two seasoned leaders with expertise in pastoral ministry and intercultural competence four times a year to build peer mentoring relationships with each other and develop stronger skills for leading congregations in their particular ministry contexts. To sustain this program, AMBS will seek contributions from participants and their congregations and cultivate gifts from new donors.
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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.
California Lutheran University received a five-year grant to create the Thriving Leadership Formation Program. Working in partnership with Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and 11 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the program will help pastors and church leaders strengthen specific practical leadership skills not learned in seminary while encouraging them to deepen their engagement with their congregations and communities. This effort will emphasize collaborative learning in cohorts (in person and online) that cultivate mutual support, practices, and accountability, and provide pastors and church leaders with mentoring, spiritual direction and coaching. To sustain this program, California Lutheran and its partner organizations will monetize mentoring and leadership development resources developed through the program and solicit financial support from its network of synods and congregations.
Campbell University, an institution of Christian Higher Education, historically rooted in the Baptist theological tradition, is offering the Fellowship for Clergy in Rural and Underserved Areas program. Focusing on pastors who serve congregations in rural and small-town settings, located primarily in, but not exclusively, central and eastern North Carolina, this program will develop pastors through peer learning cohorts of 16 clergy each who meet in person and online for a one-year period. During the program, the pastors will explore common ministry challenges and build connections with peer colleagues, mentors, university faculty and expert consultants. A second year of participation is available to those clergy wishing to continue as mentors to first year participants. The aim is to strengthen the leadership capacities and resiliency of the participating pastors. Campbell’s mission is to “lead with purpose.” This Fellowship bookends a cycle of work with high school students in our Youth Theological Institute, our undergraduate population, graduate students in partnership with our Divinity school, and now pastors in rural congregations. Formation in and through relationships is central to thriving in ministry and how we seek to increase the possibilities for pastoral ministry.
Cardinal Stritch University, a Franciscan university affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, is launching the Collaborative Parish Leadership Program, an effort to strengthen the leadership of Catholic parishes across the country by helping priests and parish life coordinators (who are often lay ministry professionals) work more collaboratively. The program will form cohorts of priests and parish life coordinators who will gather three times for two-day consultations to build relationships with each other, explore leadership practices for working more collaboratively, strengthen their leadership skills and share ideas about how to address common challenges. In addition, the university will conduct research and synthesize the learning from the cohorts to develop and share a body of insights, principles and promising practices about how collaborative leadership can guide the ministries of local parishes more effectively. Cardinal Stritch will seek support from Catholic foundations and develop an affordable fee structure to sustain this program.
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.