About the Center for Pastoral Excellence

The Center for Pastoral Excellence at Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) is a strategic initiative that addresses the long arc of ministry—from vocational discernment to seminary training to sustaining outstanding ministers and pastors throughout their lifetimes.

The Center was established in the summer of 2012 with generous initial funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. It houses an array of programs offering a flexible and responsive model for theological education.

“This will be a comprehensive and lifelong approach to pastoral education that will be distinctive among other theological education programs in the United States,” says CTS President Matthew Myer Boulton.

The Center's five initiatives include, The Discipleship Project enrolls 12 promising students each year in a cohort-based, three-year, master of divinity program with full scholarships, living stipends and immersive learning experiences including travel for site visits to thriving congregations across the country and around the world. The project is led by CTS faculty mentors.

The New Media Project helps religious leaders think theologically about technology and new media through research, theological reflection, writing and training. The New Media Project moved to CTS from its previous home at Union Theological Seminary in New York.

The Center for Pastoral Excellence administers the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs at CTS, which have provided grants to congregations to support pastoral renewal programs for the last 13 years. Two competitive programs—one for Indiana congregations and the other for congregations in the other 49 states—serve hundreds of communities across the country.

The Center also supports the Lilly Endowment’s Pastoral Excellence Network, which launched in January 2013. The network resources new clergy residency programs as well as peer learning communities for clergy, clergy groups, and the institutions that form them.

The Academy of Preaching and Celebration is the latest initiative to be developed. It is led by Rev. Dr. Frank Thomas, who has joined the CTS faculty in 2013. A premier leader in preaching and African American traditions, Thomas will lead an initiative focused on excellence in preaching and worship.

Together the initiatives of the Center for Pastoral Excellence are more than the sum of their parts. We hope they will inform and inspire not only each other, but the larger CTS community and Christian communities across the United States.

A word about this site

We invite you to explore the many offerings on this website as well as the website of our home, Christian Theological Seminary. Discover each initiative on its own terms and experience the connections between them. View the aggregate news, blogs, events, and videos of all initiatives on the Center’s home page. You may sign up for RSS feeds or to receive newsletters for each initiative or for all of them. Read about the leaders and participants. Join the network. Follow the Center on Facebook and Twitter.

Initiatives

Christian Theological Seminary Announces 148 Congregations Awarded Lilly Endowment 2018 National Clergy Renewal Program Grants

Sep 24, 2018 | Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs
Christian Theological Seminary, in its role of administering the Lilly Endowment National Clergy Renewal Program, has awarded grants to 148 congregations located in 33 states and the District of Columbia. The grants provide congregations support to enable their pastors to take time away from ministerial responsibilities for reflection and renewal. Pastors use the respite to engage in renewal experiences that often include travel, scholarly research and immersive experiences with different cultures and traditions.

“Pastors play an important role in nourishing the spiritual lives of individuals and in guiding the work of the Christian congregations they serve,” said Dr. Christopher L. Coble, the Endowment’s vice president for religion. “Through these grants we seek to honor pastors for their extraordinary service and enable them to engage in a brief period of rest and renewal. We have learned that such experiences invigorate the leadership of pastors and bring new vitality to their congregations as well.”

Congregations in the 2018 program represent diverse Christian traditions. The congregations and their pastors worked together to determine how the pastors will use the grants to replenish, restore and renew their ministries. Travel to domestic and international destinations and journeys into nature are popular activities for grant recipients. One pastor will travel with family to Rome and Florence to explore iconography and the ways that art can inspire understandings of God. Another pastor will journey to different parts of the United States experiencing sacred stories, family stories, and the stories that connect her with others as she encounters storytellers from many settings.

In addition to travel as a form of renewal, some pastors will use their time away from their congregations to engage in new spiritual disciplines, focus on time with loved ones and study topics that renew their excitement for preaching and leadership. Study topics include the integration of immigrants into new communities and research about countries and regions that inspired Romantic poetry.

The Rev. Dr. Robert Saler, director of the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, noted that the National Clergy Renewal Program leverages the reciprocal dynamics of support, trust and encouragement reflective of healthy congregations. “The program is designed to respect the innate human need for times of service and replenishment. It provides a means for congregations to express appreciation for their leaders’ service and respect for his or her health and energy for continued ministry,” Saler said.

Since Lilly Endowment introduced the National Clergy Renewal Program grants in 2000, more than 2,600 congregations across the nation have participated in the program. Congregations in the 2018 program received grants totaling more than $6.5 million. The grants recognize the tremendous amount of energy, time and leadership that pastors invest in their congregations.

Christian congregations were invited to apply for grants of up to $50,000. The application process was participatory in nature, involving congregations and their pastors in the design and development of the renewal experience. Up to $15,000 of the grant could be allocated to fund interim pastoral leadership, as well as renewal activities within the congregation. Pastors were encouraged to include their families in the renewal activities.

Christian Theological Seminary’s Center for Pastoral Excellence has administered the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs since 2012. “At a time when society is experiencing unprecedented levels of change at ever increasing speeds, it is rewarding to offer programs that recognize the value of retreat and renewal,” Saler said.

Award Recipients:

Arizona
Tucson, AZ – Northminster Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Peter Seiferth

California
Alta Loma, CA – Community Baptist Church of Alta Loma, CA, the Rev. Robert Van Acker
Anaheim, CA – Anaheim Christian Reformed Church, the Rev. Joel Dean Van Soelen
Encinitas, CA – Episcopal Church of Saint Andrew the Apostle, the Rev. Brenda Sol
Fremont, CA – South Bay Community Church, the Rev. Bryan K. Murphy
Menlo Park, CA – St. Bede's Episcopal Church, the Rev. Gia Hayes-Martin
Mission Viejo, CA – Presbyterian Church of the Master, the Rev. Jackson Clelland
Newbury Park, CA – First Christian Church of Newbury Park, the Rev. Ken LaMont
Oakland, CA – Oakland City Church, a Congregation of the Reformed Church of America, the Rev. Joshua McPaul
Orange, CA – First Christian Church of Orange of Los Angeles County, the Rev. Dayna Lynne Kinkade
Orangevale, CA – Christ the King Lutheran Church (ELCA), the Rev. Scott Michael Guemmer
Poway, CA – St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, the Rev. Mark C. McKone-Sweet
Sacramento, CA – Faith Presbyterian Church of Sacramento, the Rev. Jeffry Kent Chapman
Sacramento, CA – The Table at Central United Methodist Church, the Rev. Linda Susan Dew-Hiersoux
San Francisco, CA – St. Gregory Nyssen Episcopal Church, the Rev. Paul Fromberg
San Pedro, CA – St. Peter's Episcopal Church, the Rev. Jeanette Repp
Santa Cruz, CA – St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, the Rev. James Paul Lapp

Colorado
Boulder, CO – Saint Aidan's Episcopal Church, the Rev. Mary Kate Rejouis
Buena Vista, CO – Congregational United Church of Christ of Buena Vista, the Rev. Rebecca Sue Kemper Poos
Denver, CO – Christ Episcopal Church, the Rev. Terry McGugan
Denver, CO – New Beginnings Worshipping Community, the Rev. Theresa Annette Schjang
Littleton, CO – Littleton United Methodist Church, the Rev. Trudy Denise Robinson
Strasburg, CO – Saron Lutheran Church Julie Brooks

Connecticut
Farmington, CT – St. James Parish, the Rev. George Roberts

District of Columbia
Washington, DC – St. Alban's Episcopal Church, the Rev. James E Quigley

Florida
Fernandina Beach, FL – First Presbyterian Church Fernandina Church Beach, the Rev. William Wain Wesberry
Naples, FL – Covenant Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Trent Casto

Georgia
Atlanta, GA – Pilgrims Community Church, the Rev. Japhat Ndemera
Atlanta, GA – St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church, the Rev. Patricia Templeton
Decatur, GA – Peace Baptist Church, the Rev. Tyrone E. Barnette

Iowa
Ankeny, IA – Ankeny United Church of Christ, the Rev. Nathan Willard

Idaho
Nampa, ID – Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Nampa, the Rev. Meggan Hannah Manlove
Twin Falls, ID – First Presbyterian Church of Twin Falls, the Rev. Philip Price

Illinois
Bartlett, IL – Immanuel United Church of Christ, the Rev. Susan Tyrrel
Bensenville, IL – Faith Community United Church of Christ of Bensenville, the Rev. Catherine Batten Balk
Loves Park, IL – Grace Lutheran Church, the Rev. Brent Dahlseng
Macomb, IL – First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Macomb, the Rev. Kelly Ingersoll
Washington, IL – Grace Bible Church of Washington, the Rev. Adam Kipp
Western Springs, IL – St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Rev. Erin Clausen

Kansas
Shawnee, KS – Shawnee Community Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Rev. Johnny Lewis
Wichita, KS – North Heights Christian Church, the Rev. Titus James

Louisiana
Shreveport, LA – Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church, the Rev. Daniel Bethancourt

Massachusetts
Brookline, MA – All Saints Parish, the Rev. Richard Burden
Danvers, MA – Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church, the Rev. Timothy Clayton
Framingham, MA – The Plymouth Church in Framingham, the Rev. Gregory R. Morisse
Gloucester, MA – Community Church of East Gloucester, the Rev. Timothy Bushfield
Gloucester, MA – Orthodox Congregational Church of Lanesville, the Rev. Peter Aberle
Marblehead, MA – St. Michael's Church, the Rev. Andrew James Stoessel
Newton, MA – Worship Frontier Covenant Church, the Rev. Dave Lee

Maryland
Annapolis, MD – St. Philip's Episcopal Church, the Rev. Randy Kyle Callender
Baltimore, MD – Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Andrew Foster Connors
Baltimore, MD – Church of the Messiah, the Rev. Timothy Grayson
Cockeysville, MD – Ashland Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Shannon Meacham
Damascus, MD – Redeemer Lutheran Church, the Rev. John Brohmal
Edgewater, MD – Joy Reigns Lutheran Church, the Rev. Sara Yotter
Rockville, MD – Emmanuel Indonesian Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Victorius Hamel
Rockville, MD – Rockville United Church, the Rev. Eric Winnette

Michigan
Bloomfield Hills, MI – Congregational Church of Birmingham, United Church of Christ, the Rev. Louise Ott
Coopersville, MI – Church of the Saviour, RCA, the Rev. David Kingma
Marshall, MI – Trinity Episcopal Church, the Rev. Anne Schnaare
Mt. Pleasant, MI – Immanuel Lutheran Church, the Rev. Dana Hendershot
Scottville, MI – Mason County Reformed Church, the Rev. Todd Bush
Troy, MI – Central Woodward Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Rev. Robert D. Cornwall

Minnesota
Alexandria, MN – First Lutheran Church, the Rev. Kari Casper van Wakeren
Burnsville, MN – Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, the Rev. Paul Gauche
Le Sueur, MN – First Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Rev. Carl Bruihler
Minneapolis, MN – First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Rev. Laurie Feille
Minneapolis, MN – University Lutheran Chapel, the Rev. David A. Kind
Newport, MN – Newport Lutheran Church, the Rev. Susan Pauline Gravelle
Rochester, MN – Christ United Methodist Church, the Rev. Elizabeth Jean Macaulay
Rochester, MN – Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, the Rev. Dave Berg
Stillwater, MN – First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater, the Rev. Cader Howard

Missouri
Kansas City, MO – Country Club Congregational UCC, the Rev. Chase Peeples
Kansas City, MO – Covenant Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Kirk Perucca
Smithville, MO – The First Christian Church of Smithville, the Rev. Lara Blackwood Pickrel
St Louis, MO – St. Johns Evangelical United Church of Christ, the Rev. Steve Westbrook

Montana
Missoula, MT – St. Paul Lutheran Church of Missoula, the Rev. Christian P. Flohr

North Carolina
Cary, NC – Trinity Park Church, the Rev. Adam Corey Jackson
Clemmons, NC – St. Clement of Alexandria Episcopal Church, the Rev. Jamie L'Enfant Edwards
Durham, NC – First Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Mindy Douglas
Durham, NC – St Philip's Episcopal Church, the Rev. Sally French
Elon, NC – Fairview United Methodist Church, the Rev. Stanley Mark Clark
Matthews, NC – Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, the Rev. Jennifer M. Ginn
Mooresville, NC – St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church, the Rev. Robert Lawrence

North Dakota
Fargo, ND – First Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Mary Jo Elizabeth Holtey

New Jersey
Clinton, NJ – Clinton Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Tracey Cowan Henry

New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM – St. Timothy's Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Rev. Rachael Powell

New York
Bronx, NY – The Haitian Congregation of the Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, the Rev. Sam Louis Owen
Buffalo, NY – Westminster Presbyterian Society of Buffalo, the Rev. Thomas H. Yorty
Chappaqua, NY – First Congregational Church of Chappaqua, the Rev. Martha R. Jacobs
Mount Kisco, NY – Presbyterian Society of Mount Kisco, the Rev. Dale Edward Southorn
New York, NY – Rejoice Ministries ~The Church of Healing, the Rev. Patricia Reeberg
Pittsford, NY – First Presbyterian Society of Pittsford, the Rev. Carrie Mitchell
Rochester, NY – Artisan Church: an Evangelical Covenant Church, the Rev. Scott Austin
Schenectady, NY – Emmanuel Baptist Church & Society of the City of Schenectady, the Rev. Peter J.B. Carman
Skaneateles, NY – St. James' Episcopal Church, the Rev. Becky Coerper
Warwick, NY – Warwick United Methodist Church, the Rev. Jennifer Morrow
Woodstock, NY – Christ's Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Rev. Sonja Marie Tillberg Maclary

Ohio
Cincinnati, OH – Carthage Christian Church, the Rev. Alan Dicken
Cincinnati, OH – Friendship United Methodist Church, the Rev. Meshach Kanyion
Cincinnati, OH – New City Presbyterian Church, the Rev. W. Brian Ferry
Lewis Center, OH – Alum Creek Church of Christ, the Rev. Adam Metz
New Albany, OH – New Albany Presbyterian Church, the Rev. David Milroy
Rocky River, OH – Rocky River Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Jon Fancher
Wapakoneta, OH – St. Paul United Church of Christ, the Rev. Rebecca Sunday

Oregon
Beaverton, OR – Bethel Congregational UCC, the Rev. David Randall-Bodman
Hillsboro, OR – First United Methodist Church of Hillsboro, the Rev. Clay Wesley Andrew
Portland, OR – Bridgeport United Church of Christ, the Rev. Tara L. Wilkins

Pennsylvania
Ambler, PA – Upper Dublin Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Rev. Keith Anderson
Baden, PA – Christ - Our Savior's Lutheran Parish, the Rev. Jill McGregor
Bryn Mawr, PA – Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Agnes W. Norfleet
Lancaster, PA – Highland Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), the Rev. Roger Rabey
Mars, PA – Old Union Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Peter de Vries
Venetia, PA – St. David's Episcopal Church, the Rev. Kristian Opat
West Chester, PA – St. Paul's Baptist Church, the Rev. Wayne E. Croft, Sr.

South Carolina
Pawleys Island, SC – Pawleys Island Community Church, the Rev. Donald Williams

South Dakota
Rapid City, SD – Westminster Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Robert Jacobs

Tennessee
Chattanooga, TN – First Baptist Church East 8th Street, the Rev. William Terry Ladd,III
Chattanooga, TN – Lookout Valley Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Grady Davidson
Clarksville, TN – Protection of the Holy Virgin Mary Orthodox Christian Church, the Rev. Benjamin I. Langdon

Texas
Austin, TX – The Metropolitan Community Church of Austin, the Rev. Karen Thompson
Corpus Christi, TX – St. Mark's Episcopal Church, the Rev. John Hardie
Fort Worth, TX – University Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Rev. Jessica Vacketta
Houston, TX – St. Philip Presbyterian Church of Houston, the Rev. John Wurster
Marble Falls, TX – First Baptist Church Marble Falls, the Rev. Carl "Ross" Chandler
Spring, TX – Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, the Rev. James Abbott

Virginia
Alexandria, VA – Peace Lutheran Church, the Rev. Sarah Scherschligt
Fredericksburg, VA – St. George's Episcopal Church, the Rev. Joseph Hensley
Mathews, VA – Kingston Episcopal Parish, the Rev. Gary Joseph Barker
Midlothian, VA – Spring Run Presbyterian Church of Chesterfield County Brian Fletcher
Onancock, VA – Naomi Makemie Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Monica Gould
Springfield, VA – Immanuel Bible Church, the Rev. Michael Connor

Washington
Battle Ground, WA – Cherry Grove Friends Church, the Rev. Arden Kinser
Ferndale, WA – United Church of Ferndale, the Rev. Bobbi Jean Virta
Kirkland, WA – Lake Washington Christian Church, the Rev. Kara Markell
Lakebay, WA – Lakebay Community Church, the Rev. Dan Whitmarsh
Port Townsend, WA – St. Paul's Episcopal Church, the Rev. Dianne Andrews
Seattle, WA – Columbia City Church of Hope, the Rev. Darla DeFrance
Shoreline, WA – Richmond Beach Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, the Rev. Paul Mason Ashby
Sumner, WA – Faith Covenant Church, the Rev. Kurt Notehelfer
Tacoma, WA – Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tacoma, the Rev. John Thomas Stroeh

Wisconsin
Clear Lake, WI – Reeve Evangelical Free Church, the Rev. Todd Groat
Green Bay, WI – Ascension Lutheran Church, the Rev. Luther Swenson
Menomonie, WI – Our Savior's Lutheran Church, the Rev. Heather Wigdahl
Milwaukee, WI – Lake Park Lutheran Church, the Rev. David Bradley Dragseth
Stoughton, WI – Ezra Church Company, the Rev. Jeff Lovell
Waupun, WI – Edgewood Community Church, the Rev. Jamie Thompson

Wyoming
Jackson, WY – The Presbyterian Church of Jackson Hole, the Rev. Benjamin Robert Pascal


About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly and his two sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., with gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical company. The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. Lilly Endowment’s religion grantmaking is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians. It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes. More information can be found at www.lillyendowment.org.

About Christian Theological Seminary
Located in Indianapolis, IN, Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) is a fully accredited ecumenical seminary, open to all, affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It offers nine graduatelevel degree programs, each rooted in a rich history of biblical scholarship, theological openness, and spiritual discernment. More than 30 denominations are represented among CTS faculty and students. Additional information about CTS is available at www.cts.edu.
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