Pastor-in-Residence Program for Experienced Pastors

Rest, Reflection and Wisdom

Many mid and late career pastors desire opportunities apart from the daily practice and activity of ministry that provides space for extended reflection on their lives, their pastoral identity and the long arc of their ministry. Experienced pastors who have served without intentional time away often feel constrained, weary, and depleted of energy, wondering if they can remain vital, creative, and feeling good about their later years as spiritual leaders. At the same time, these pastors possess accumulated knowledge and wisdom they want to process and share, and by sharing, often discover a renewed sense of vocation and spiritual vitality.

While a small number of CBFNC congregations are able to provide their pastor short-term “study leave” periods or sabbaticals, most are simply not equipped or financially able to do so. Others may provide time away but purposes for not primarily aimed or structured for self reflection and renewal through the sharing of experience and wisdom.

For more than two decades, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina has formally partnered with four ATS accredited theological schools in the state: Campbell University School of Divinity, Gardner-Webb University Divinity School, Wake Forest University School of Divinity, and Duke Divinity School and its Baptist House of Studies. Working together with these partner schools, CBFNC will launch a Pastor-in-Residence

CBFNC program for experienced pastors in the Spring of 2020. While in residence, pastors might participate in a wide range of learning and reflection opportunities on campus. These might include auditing courses, participating in spiritual direction and vocational coaching, engagement in community worship and other campus activities.

Pastors-in-Residence would also be available to assist enrolled students in preparation for the transition from school to first-time ministry settings, and to reinforce through participation the value of mentor relationships.

In cooperation with CBFNC partner schools, the Helping Pastors Thrive program will support a Pastor-in-Residence at each of the four schools for up to four weeks each year. The residency will be structured with the input and support from each of school’s faculty and staff. Pastors would be selected based upon an application process. The first residencies would take place in the Spring of 2020.

Pastors-in-Resident would receive support for housing, food and travel costs while in residence. The pastor’s congregation would also receive financial support based upon salary for the projected time away.