In order to assist potential applicants in forming peer groups that meet Thriving In Ministry program criteria, all applicants must submit a completed Intent To Apply form to receive the full program application. Intent to Apply forms are due September 15, 2022. Earlier submission is strongly encouraged. Full program applications are due by October 15, 2022.
Applicants must apply as peer groups of 4 to 6 clergywomen actively serving in congregational ministry in the Southern United States.
Peer groups must:
Include 3 to 5 clergywomen who are
(a) serving within the first 3 years in their first role as a solo pastor, and/or (b) serving within the first 3 years in their first role as a senior pastor, and/or (c) serving as an associate pastor working toward their first role as a solo or senior pastor. Note that those with any previous experience serving as a solo or senior pastor do not fit criteria (a) and (b), even if they are currently serving as an associate.
Include 1 mentor clergywoman with more than 7 years’ experience serving effectively as a solo and/or senior pastor.
Consist entirely of clergywomen actively serving within a congregation in the southern United States.
Include ecumenical diversity (representing at least 2 different denominations, though greater ecumenical diversity is highly encouraged).
Prioritize diversity among participants when forming a group.
What to expect:
Applicants must be willing to uphold the following commitments over the course of the 15-month cohort:
Regular peer group meetings to be reported to the Program Director through monthly journal entries. Groups may determine the frequency and duration of peer group meetings, including whether these meetings will occur in-person or online, with approval from the Program Director. All groups must meet for a minimum of 4 hours per month.
Attendance at and active participation in both large-group retreats at the beginning and end of the cohort period coordinated by the Program Director, which will bring together all peer groups in the cohort. Note that at least 1 of these retreats will involve international travel, so all participants must be able to obtain a passport or visa allowing international travel from the United States. Participants will be responsible for the cost of obtaining or renewing a passport or visa.
Attendance at and active participation in a third peer group-only retreat or conference to be designed or chosen by each peer group with financial support from the Thriving in Ministry program
Congregational participation in 5 hours of training from the Program Director to equip churches to create cultures that support thriving ministry and pastoral well-being
Participation in a “restorative niche” (an activity one does simply for the joy of it, unrelated to work responsibilities, in which one can build mastery over time) of their choice and/or time away with “significant other(s)” who are important in their lives with financial support from the Thriving in Ministry program
Participation in ongoing work with a spiritual director or coach during the duration of the cohort with financial support from the Thriving in Ministry program
Please note that participants will receive financial support for all required activities. This will include support for peer group meeting materials, retreats (including travel, lodging, meals, and registration costs), congregational training and materials, participation in restorative niches and/or time away with significant others, and ongoing work with a spiritual director or coach. Each participant will receive a reasonable budget for each required activity (see below). Any program-related costs incurred by participants beyond the budgeted amount will be the responsibility of participants. PROGRAM ELEMENT | REIMBURSABLE AMOUNT
Large-Group Retreats 1 & 2 Content | Provided directly by the Center for Ministry
*Meals, lodging, programming, etc.
Peer Group-Specific Retreat | $1000/person
*Includes travel, lodging, meals, and programming selected by peer group
Peer Group Meeting Materials & Support | $300/person
Restorative Niche | $500/person
Spiritual Direction/Coaching | $300/person
Congregational Training | Provided directly by the Center for Ministry
*Budget is subject to change based on number of participants and costs
Mailing Address: Center for Ministry Box 150041 Millsaps College 1701 N. State Street Jackson, MS 39210