Pastoral Leadership About Us
The Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program selects up to 18 Indiana pastors who in their first five to ten years have demonstrated high potential for significant leadership. They participate in a series of meetings, conversations with outstanding leaders, and two study tours over a two-year period. The program provides occasions for the pastors to:
- reflect and discuss how they proclaim the gospel effectively in contemporary culture and in their local contexts;
- engage Indiana leaders about the challenges and opportunities in the state, exploring with them resources in Christian thought and practice for ethical analysis and effective response to such challenges and opportunities; and
- be honored for their calling and potential through reflection, renewal, stimulation, and leadership development as they build friendships and relationships across the state.
The Pastoral Leadership Program is funded by the Lilly Endowment.
- What is the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program?
- Who is eligible to participate?
- Why have a leadership program for talented young pastors?
- What are the financial arrangements?
- What will Wabash Pastoral Leaders do at the sessions?
- What are the goals of the program?
- Who will lead the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program?
What is the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program? Up to eighteen talented younger pastors of Christian congregations in Indiana who have demonstrated during their first five to ten years of ministry a high potential for significant leadership will be named Wabash Pastoral Leaders. They will participate in a series of meetings, conversations with outstanding leaders, and two study tours over a two-year period beginning in January 2017. Three foci of the program are to provide occasions for the Pastors 1) to reflect and discuss how they proclaim the gospel effectively in contemporary culture and in their local contexts; 2) to engage Indiana leaders about the challenges and opportunities in the state and to explore with them resources in Christian thought and practice for ethical analysis and effective response to such challenges and opportunities; and (3) to honor talented younger pastors for their calling and potential by providing special opportunities for reflection, renewal, stimulation, and leadership development as they build friendships and relationships across the state.
What will Wabash Pastoral Leaders do at the sessions? The group will meet twelve times over two years (usually 2-3 days in Jan, March, May, July, Sept, Nov), at Wabash College. Each of the sessions will include opportunities for renewal, worship, discussion with leaders about the selected topic (e.g., the special nature of pastoral leadership, education, medical research and services, demographic and economic developments in their communities, immigration) and peer discussion of resources in Christian thought and action for clear ethical analysis and effective response in congregations and communities. The purpose is to help pastors to do their thinking in the best of company about significant issues and to reflect about how to proclaim the gospel more effectively in contemporary culture in order to cultivate the common good. In the second year of the program, the Leaders will be expected to develop and implement a Leadership Project in their local communities. The group will also have the opportunity for a North American Study Tour in the first year and an International Study Tour in the second year for discussions with Christian leaders.
What are some goals of the program? The primary goal is to enhance excellence in ministry of a group of talented younger pastors. Pastors, to fulfill their calling, have to play some role in dealing with factors that make more difficult well-lived lives of their people. Pastoral imagination is required to know how best to foster a way of life that truly is life giving for the church’s faithfulness and the good of all creation. At the end of the program we trust that these pastors will have more confidence, a larger vision of their ministry, a significant peer group in ministry in Indiana, a greater knowledge of the infrastructure of society as it affects their people, and a clearer understanding of contemporary challenges and that they will be better leaders in the service of the common good.
Who is eligible to participate? The program is for pastors of Christian congregations in Indiana who have an M.Div. degree from an accredited seminary, have five to ten years experience in ministry since graduation or ordination, have developed some confidence, optimism, and security in a pastoral role, and have high potential for the next two or three decades of Christian ministry. Participants will reflect a broad spectrum of Indiana pastors, including regional, denominational, theological, racial, and ethnic and gender difference. The expectation is that Wabash Pastoral Leaders will not be enrolled in any academic degree program or other leadership program during the two years of the program.
Why have a leadership program for talented young pastors? The period from five to ten years in ministry following ordination is one in which professional identity is shaped and the scope and manner of a ministerial career is set. That stage of professional development is marked by accelerated executive programs in business and industry, tenure review in educational institutions and partner reviews in law firms. The needs of leaders in Christian pastoral ministry are unique among the professions and will be best addressed in a specialized program for pastoral leadership. This is the career stage when talented younger pastors are being tapped to take larger responsibilities in their communions and local communities, resulting in many demands upon their talent and leadership abilities. The Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program will assist them in acquiring the skills, knowledge, and contacts to become more effective and respected leaders. The Wabash program will focus directly on pastoral leadership in Indiana grounded in theological analysis and reflection.
What are the financial arrangements? Wabash College, with support from Lilly Endowment, offers this leadership program without financial cost to the participating pastors or their congregations. In addition, each pastor will receive a stipend of $10,000 for full participation in all meetings of the program. Congregations of participating pastors will be eligible to request a grant to cover pulpit supply for pastor’s absences for study tours. Full participation implies being present for all sessions, and the stipend and eligibility for participation in the study tours will depend on full participation. The pastor’s spouse will be invited to participate in a few activities, but their participation is not required.
Who will lead the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program? Dr. Rev. Derek Nelson, Program Director, and Rev. Libby Davis Manning, Associate Director, will also help facilitate sessions. Rachel Hassler is the Administrative Assistant for the program.
If you have questions please contact us at 765-361-6327 or firstname.lastname@example.org