Colloquy Opportunity for Early Call CTS Alumni Now Open!

Colloquy Opportunity for Early Call CTS Alumni Now Open!


Applications for the 2019-2020 Colloquy for Early Call Clergy for CTS alumni are now open!


As part of the Colloquy for Clergy series, this experience is for CTS alumni in ministry who are five to seven years into their first call.




Here’s a Q&A about the colloquy:


Q: What is the purpose of this colloquy?


A:  Clergy in the early stages of their ministry face challenges, both personal and professional, that are unique to their stage in life and vocational trajectory. They have accumulated education, developed some competencies, and demonstrate a certain amount of confidence. Not quite novices, many are still not “experts.” Clergy in early-career are serving in increasingly complex contexts that will continue to challenge their competencies. For many, they come face-to-face daily with the reality, “seminary did not prepare me for this!”


Q: What are the goals of the colloquy experience?


A:  The unique colloquy model seeks to help clergy (1) acquire frameworks and concepts for thriving in pastoral leadership; (2) reinterpret ministry experience to address the challenges of the particular vocational ministry contexts and transitions; (3) claim identity, authority, and agency as ministers; (4)  reinterpret or reclaim one’s calling to vocational ministry; and (5) find support among colleagues.


Q: Is this only open to clergy who are CTS alumni? 


A: Yes, this colloquy experience is open only to CTS alumni who are three to five years into their first call. Other colloquies in the series are open to clergy from all denominations. For example, in 2019-2020 we will also offer the Colloquy for Women of Color.



Q: What is the cost of the colloquy?


A: The program fee is only $500 for two sessions (September 9-11, 2019 and February 17-19, 2020). Additional costs are travel and housing on campus at the Harrington Center.


Q: Who are the program leaders?


A: Two CTS alumni will serve as co-facilitators, Rebekah Abel Lamar and Will Norman. Rebekah serves as Associate Pastor for Christian Formation at Idlewild Presbyterian Church, and Will serves as Campus Minister & Executive Director at Presbyterian Student Center.


Q: Is this colloquy by application? 


A: Yes, the first step in the registration process is to complete the online application . Please complete the application as soon as possible. We anticipate great interest in this experience and registration will be limited.


Q: What is the format of the colloquy experience?


A: The colloquy experience provides participants a professional formative opportunity to reflect on their vocational experience, and assess their ability to meet the leadership demands/needs of their organizations and ministry contexts. Participants will address common experiences and issues of early-career clergy: facing either a normative or unanticipated career challenge, standing at a vocational crossroads of some sort, engaging in reflective self-assessment, and finding support among peers.


Q: Do I have to be in congregational ministry to apply?


A: No, this is open to CTS alumni in any full-time ministry context.


Q: What colloquies will be offered in the future?


A: In coming years we will offer additional colloquies for clergy as part of our Pastoral Excellence Program. Watch for these: Colloquy for Second-Career Clergy, Young Black Church Clergy, for Clergy Transitioning into their final years of ministry, for clergy leading a congregation to closure, for clergy in entrepreneurial ministries.


Apply early!  We’d love to see you back on campus for this formative experience.


-Israel Galindo

Israel Galindo is Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at the Columbia Theological Seminary. He is the author of the bestseller, The Hidden Lives of Congregations (Alban), Perspectives on Congregational Leadership (Educational Consultants), and Leadership in Ministry.

Galindo contributes to the Wabash Center’s blog for theological school deans.

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