New Colloquy Opportunity for Women of Color!

New Colloquy Opportunity for Women of Color!


NOW OPEN: Registration for the 2019-2020 Colloquy for Women of Color!


This colloquy is for clergy leaders who are women of color, many of whom are now realizing opportunities for pastoral leadership in contexts previously inaccessible.




Here’s a Q&A about the upcoming colloquy:


Q: What is the purpose of this colloquy?


A:  To focus on navigating transitions during the trajectory of their vocational calling. Many transitions that are perceived as normative for male clergy may hold different and be unique challenges for women of color.


Q: What are the goals of the colloquy experience?


A:  (1) To explore and share experiences in mediating dynamics of ethnicity, race, and gender in their work as pastoral leaders (2) discover how these experiences influence their self-identity as clergy in the current landscape.


Q: Is this only open to clergy who are Women of Color? 


A: Yes, this colloquy experience is open only to WOC clergy. Other colloquies in the series are open to clergy from all denominations. For example, in 2021-22 we will offer the Colloquy for Clergy Transitioning into Retirement.


Q: What is the cost of the colloquy?


A: The program fee is only $550 for two sessions (August 17-19, 2019 and January 27-29, 2020). Additional costs are travel and housing on campus at the Harrington Center.


Q: Who are the program leaders?


A:  Lilian “Luky” Cotto Cynthia Parnell McDonald and Jihyun Oh.

Cotto, a native of Guatemala, serves as a missionary of the United Methodist Church’s GBGM – National Plan for Hispanic-Latino Ministry and is engaged in church planting in New Jersey.

Dr. McDonald serves as an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Research. With over 18 years of ministry experience as an educator and pastor. She is currently the pastor of St. Luke A.M.E Church/Cartersville.

Oh currently serves as Manager, Call Process Support and Assistant Stated Clerk for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and has served as interim pastor, associate pastor and hospital chaplain.



Q: How do I apply for this colloquy? 


A: To complete the registration process, complete the registration form here.


Q: What is the format of the colloquy experience?


A: The colloquy experience provides participants with 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 WOC 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 women of color 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.


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


-Sarah Erickson

The Rev. Dr. Sarah F. Erickson is a clergy member of the Presbytery of S. Alabama serving as Director of Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. She is committed to nurturing others through all stages of the journey of faith and has a special interest in the role of worship and music in faith formation. She serves as President of the Association of Leaders of Lifelong Learning for Ministry (ALLLM) and on her Presbytery’s Committee for the Preparation for Ministry. Sarah writes for the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, most recently as author of the upcoming WINTER 2019-20 quarter for The Present Word.

A native of Cleveland, OH, she considers herself a GRITS (girl reformed in the South). When not writing, preaching and teaching, she enjoys walking with her dog, the out-of-doors, swimming, walking, gardening and trying new recipes.

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