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Programs & Courses
Pastoral Excellence Programs & Courses
Build on best practices for your professional and personal development as a ministry leader. The Pastoral Excellence Programs of the Center for Lifelong Learning include three professional development opportunities for clergy: Ministering to Ministers and The Wounded Ministers Retreat, Leadership in Ministry Workshops and the Thriving Congregations Grant program, reKindle.
Ministering to Ministers (MTM) assists clergy in crisis after a forced termination or events that could potentially lead to a forced termination. The services are extended to pastors, associate pastoral staff, ministers, church program staff and spouses of clergy.
Wounded Minister Retreats
“When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.”
– Henry Nouwen, The Wounded Healer
The Wounded Ministers Retreats for Clergy and Spouses provide a relaxed atmosphere and confidential setting for healing and encouragement to ministers and their families who have experienced termination, or for those in conflicts possibly leading to termination. Through the competent leadership of the retreat team, the journey toward wholeness and health may be pursued through counsel, helpful information, experiential sharing, and rest, which speak to the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of the participants.
This transformative and healing experience includes:
July 10-13, 2023 at Sacred Heart Monastery in Cullman, Alabama. Cancelled.
October 16-19, 2023 at Eagle Eyrie Conference Center in Lynchburg, Virginia. Register HERE.
April 8-11, 2024 at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. Register HERE.
The cost is $100 per person, or $150 per couple, a non-refundable fee due with registration. This fee includes housing and meals. Participants are responsible for their transportation to and from the retreat site. Aid is available for transportation upon request.
ABOUT THE RETREAT
Our Ministering to Ministers program seeks to serve as advocates for clergy and their families in all faith groups and offer guidance to the churches they serve, that they might enjoy healthy relationships and years of productive service.
Many of those participate in this experience, in the midst of crisis, are enabled to resolve situations and either stay in their ministry position or make a healthier transition to their next ministry position. Wounded and burned-out ministers are renewed for greater effectiveness, joy in ministry, and resilience when the going gets tough. A minister and spouse shared “what could have been a terrible ordeal for our family became something that will serve as a springboard for further ministry, During the retreat we found a light at the end of a dark tunnel and a road map to wellness that has enabled us to thrive in adverse conditions.”
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT IT
“I felt so loved and affirmed during the week. The interaction with others who have gone through the same thing was invaluable. This has been a life changing experience for me. Thank you so very much.”
“Thank you for your vision and deep concern for everyone in ministry. I truly believe that we are on the road to healing and ready for the next place of service.”
“We came wounded and hurting from experiences in ministry. So it was wonderfully refreshing to be treated with such hospitality. I can’t get over the fact that people have given so generously that we all could experience this without it being a financial burden to us. It would have been very difficult for us to have been able to afford the cost of the retreat at this time.”
Leadership in Ministry (LIM) Workshops are offered at three locations (Atlanta, Boston and Lynchburg) across the country and as an online workshop. You’ll explore with peers how Bowen Family Systems Theory can be a “theory of practice for ministry,” and learn to apply the concepts of family emotional process to your own ministry context. Click here to check the full LIM schedule and to register.
Leadership in Ministry (LIM) Workshops are on-going, cohort experiences to help clergy apply Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST) to their ministry settings.
The post-graduate Leadership in Ministry workshops integrates pastoral and organizational leadership with Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST) as a theory of practice. Workshop participants learn how the concepts of BFST can be applied to ministry through this peer-learning, theory-based leadership program. Participants gain insight by learning with others who share their unique vocational challenges and joys.
BFST offers a way of thinking that affects every aspect of leadership in ministry. By exploring the relationships and patterns in the ministers’ three families (the minister’s own personal family (nuclear and extended) congregation member families and the congregation as a family) in each of the program’s two three-day sessions, LIM Workshops help participants reduce their own anxiety to confidently lead their congregations. Sessions focus on each of the minister’s three interlocking “families”: the ministry setting, families in the congregation, and the minister’s own family of origin.
Purposes of the Workshops
Who Should Attend
Workshop participants have included: pastors, rabbis, other congregational staff members, interim pastors, chaplains, lay leaders, denominational workers, pastoral counselors, public school counselors and early childhood educators. Over 300 men and women from 14 denominations and 28 states and the District of Columbia have participated. Participants have received Continuing Education Units (C.E.U.’s) for both denominational and professional accrediting bodies as well as graduate credit for Doctor of Ministry and other degree programs.
Experience has shown that family systems thinking cannot be learned from a book or a single seminar. Ed Friedman’s oft-repeated statement was: “It takes years of mentoring by someone who has internalized family systems theory and intentional work in your family of origin, for this way of thinking to become your own.”
Save the dates for 2024!
Atlanta March 4-6 and November 11-13
Boston May 6-8 and September 30- October 2
Richmond March 18-20 and September 16-18
Online Cohort: TBD
reKindle is Columbia Theological Seminary’s Lilly Endowment–funded Thriving Congregations grant initiative. reKindle will award grants of up to $10,000 to congregations accepted into the program. Grant projects will support a congregation’s capacity to enhance their vitality in a post–COVID–19 context. The program will help congregations realize their goal of being a thriving congregation by supporting their focused attention on an identified mission priority.
ReKindle is a grant initiative offered by the Center for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary. It is part of the Lilly Endowment’s Thriving Congregations project.
The 2023 applications are closed. Applications for 2024 open on January 1.
Click HERE to view the 2023 recipients.
For questions or concerns about the reKindle Grant Initiative, contact the Center for Lifelong Learning at email@example.com.