Brite Divinity School seeks a five-year grant to establish its Thriving in Ministry Initiative project, an effort that will create intentional opportunities for pastoral leaders to develop strategies for collegial support during personal, professional and communal transitions. Through three distinct programs, this project will: 1) provide pastoral mentors for graduates of Brite Divinity school as they transition from their last year of formal theological education into ministry contexts for two years postgraduation; 2) develop resources for clergy experiencing transitions after five years or more in ministry; and 3) gather Latino/a pastors in Dallas, Texas, who are connected to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as they minister in communities and churches in transition. Brite will sustain this project through increases in annual giving, testing fee-for-service models and incorporating activities into the ongoing operations of the school.
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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.
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.
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.
Catholic Theological Union (CTU) seeks a five-year grant for its Thriving in Ministry Initiative project, an effort to provide programs and resources for vowed religious and lay ecclesial ministers so that they will be proficient and confident leaders in the church. Through this project, CTU will conduct critically needed research to determine the needs and challenges faced by vowed religious and lay ecclesial ministers currently working in many ministries in the Roman Catholic parishes in the United States. This research will enable CTU to design and implement workshops and programming and to create resources that target the needs and challenges of today’s ministers. The workshops will help participants develop plans to deepen their theological education and strengthen their leadership skills. In addition, an annual symposium on priesthood will bring together professors of theology and researchers at Catholic graduate schools and seminaries to discuss the education and formation of religious priests in the United States. To sustain this project, CTU will integrate the workshops and symposium into its ongoing operating budget.
The Center for Courage & Renewal will use its Circle of Trust® approach to help pastoral leaders develop and nurture the collegial relationships vital to thriving in ministry and sustaining the work of faithfulness. We will create and convene five communities of practice made up of twenty-five early career clergy and six to eight seasoned clergy and trained facilitators each. These communities will gather for three, multiple-day retreats and monthly, small group peer learning calls over the course of a year-long program. To sustain this project, the Center will incorporate the project into its operating budget and seek funding through partnerships, grants, individual donations, and project revenue.