Who May Participate ?


New Pastor Cohorts

Pastors who are serving in their first pastorate or ministry position are invited to apply for this two-year cohort program that will bring together six to eight peers along with experienced mentors for shared reflection and learning in a small group context. Built around two retreats each year, each cohort will explore ministerial contexts, roles, identity and practices in an effort to grow in both professionally and spiritually. Drawing on shared wisdom of seasoned mentors, cohort participants will work together to refine and develop the arts of ministry. Participation in the cohorts requires a substantial commitment of time, and all expenses related to travel, accommodations, meals and materials are covered by the Helping Pastors Thrive program. Because of the limit on participation and interest in the program, an application is required.

Workshop Retreats

The workshops are designed to address topics and issues that are related to early and mid career challenges in pastoral ministry, and are specifically focused on the needs of pastors serving established congregations seeking innovation and enhanced tools for the practices of ministry. Three or four workshop retreats on a variety of topics will be offered each year. The workshops assume engagement and peer interaction and are therefor limited to 15-18 participants. All pastors who might benefit from a workshop topic are encouraged to register. Workshop Retreats include accommodations and meals, and though costs are heavily subsidized by the Helping Pastors Thrive program, a registration and program fee are required.

Pastor-In-Residence Programs

Applicants to the Pastor-in-Residence program should demonstrate a depth of experience in congregational ministry and provide a clear, concise description of how a four-week residency would contribute to his or her current pastoral leadership. Applicants must provide an outline of a learning plan as well as individual goals for the residency. Residents will work closely with a member of the school’s faculty and/or staff as an advisor and to implement the learning plan. Residents will also use part of their time away to engage and guide students on campus preparing for pastoral ministry. In the selection process, preference will be given to pastors who are not provided extended time away for continuing education or sabbatical study.