Applications Accepted for Second Year of Columbia Theological Seminary’s S3 Project
THE S3 PROJECT, focused on sustaining pastoral excellence, is accepting applications for the second year of the project. Project proposals are invited from groups of pastors of all churches and denominations. These proposals must include plans for observing Sabbath, pursuing study, and engaging in service, and be designed to sustain the practice of ministry. Upon approval, groups will receive approximately $1,000 per person per year to fund their project’s work, plus up to $300 per person, based on need, to fund travel to the initial orientation and subsequent annual meetings held in August. Funded by the Lilly Foundation, the S3 Project is focused on aspects of Sabbath, study, and service of church pastors and involves self-directed peer learning groups in two-year intentional learning projects.
Those interested in submitting a proposal must submit a package including a group proposal and information from each individual applicant. The deadline for submission of print and electronic versions of the applications is April 23, 2004. Groups will be notified by May 14 of their acceptance into the 2004 project group. Members of the groups will attend the project orientation on campus Aug. 23-27. Participants in the first year of the project will assist in the facilitation of the orientation, and participate in their own mid-project reflection.
Fifty pastors, chaplains and other church leaders from10 states and seven denominations formed the eight groups selected for the inaugural year of the grant. Projects currently underway include Celtic spirituality; technology in ministry; post-modern/post-Christendom ministry; interfaith dialogue, and what it means to be Protestant in a non-Protestant context.
Dent C. Davis, vice-president and dean of Lifelong Learning, serves as project director. Sarah F. Erickson, associate director of Continuing Education, serves as coordinator. “The project develops support groups, fosters skills and ideas for ministry, and offers opportunity for the development of creative approaches for learning,” Davis says. Columbia’s role in the project is to provide resources, coaching, structure, and other support, including the implementation, documentation, and evaluation of the group projects and S3 as a whole.
Overall, 63 grants from more than 730 proposals submitted were awarded in 2003 and 2004 to religiously affiliated organizations across the country. “Sustaining Pastoral Excellence” is an effort of the Lilly Endowment to focus attention and energy on maintaining the high caliber of many of the country’s pastoral leaders. Columbia is one of four seminaries of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to be awarded a grant.