Helping Pastors Thrive
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Creating Opportunities for Enhancing Pastoral Identity and Leadership

A Ministry of the cooperative baptist fellowship of north carolina


Pastors Who Thrive Inspire Congregations

From its founding, CBF of North Carolina has recognized the importance of leadership development as a key to healthy, growing congregations.

Helping Pastors Thrive builds on and significantly expands CBFNC’s support for pastoral leaders by concentrating on the specific contexts and identified needs at three distinct vocational stages: (1) new pastors in their first years of congregational ministry; (2) pastors navigating the complex challenges of pastoral ministry in older, established churches; and, (3) experienced pastors who desire dedicated time away from their ministries to reflect on the meaning of their vocation, to prepare for their final years of pastoral service, and to share what they have learned with younger pastors.

fostering higher levels of well-being will help pastors be healthier, more creative and innovative, higher performing, more adaptable and resilient church leaders.
— Matt Bloom, University of Notre Dame

Made possible by a Grant from the Lilly Endowment’s Thriving in Ministry Initiative


Thriving in Ministry

Through Thriving in Ministry, the Lilly Endowment is helping charitable organizations – especially organizations committed to supporting pastoral leaders in congregations – located in the United States in developing new programs and strengthening existing programs that help pastors build relationships with experienced clergy who can serve as role models and exemplars. The primary aim is to help pastors thrive in congregational leadership and, in doing so, enhance the vitality of the congregations they serve.

Thriving in Ministry seeks to help pastors develop meaningful relationships with wise colleagues who can help guide them through key leadership challenges, especially during transitions in their ministerial careers. The initiative builds upon recent studies that have examined the importance of colleagues and mentors who help pastors face and overcome common professional challenges. These studies include research from the Endowment-funded Flourishing in Ministry project, directed by Matt Bloom at the University of Notre Dame.

About the Lilly Endowment

Lilly Endowment is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr. – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. The gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment. The Endowment, however, is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location.

In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment affords special emphasis to projects that benefit young people and that strengthen financial self-sufficiency in the charitable sector.

The Endowment funds programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. A key priority of its founders, however, was to help the people of their city and state build better lives. Accordingly, the Endowment maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.


Participation is Open to Pastors who lead CBFNC Churches and their Ministries.