Pastoral Excellence Network

Dedicated to strengthening and sustaining excellent pastoral leaders for a lifetime of creative and effective service to the church

Welcome to the Pastoral Excellence Network!

Our mission is to create and foster a network of organizations committed to encouraging and supporting excellence in pastoral ministry. We seek to help churches and church-related organizations provide opportunities for pastors to find support and learning throughout their professional lives.  We work with congregations and organizations to help new pastors get the best possible start in ministry.  And we help congregations and organizations equip experienced pastors with practices that will sustain their vital ministry, particularly through peer learning groups.

We endeavor to sustain the momentum and amplify the impact which Lilly Endowment Inc. started more than ten years ago through the Transition into Ministry (TiM) and Sustaining Pastoral Excellence (SPE) programs. We seek to expand the body of wisdom about what constitutes pastoral excellence as we lean forward into a church whose future we cannot yet fully see or imagine.

We invite you to be part of building our Network:

Learn more about the Pastoral Excellence Network.
• Explore this site for resources, networks, examples, and events.
• Watch a video on what's special about Sustaining Pastoral Excellence.
• Read our blog.
• Learn about Catalyst and Collaborative matching grants.
• Join us on Facebook and Twitter.
• Sign up for the e-newsletter.


Watch the following video about clergy peer learning groups and the work of the Pastoral Excellence Network. (Or watch on YouTube.)

Featured Posts

  • Clergy spouses gathering 2015

    Posted May 04, 2016 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By Joyce Thomas | In April 2015, I consulted with a group of pastors’ spouses about the role of clergy spouses and how Christian Theological Seminary could support them in their own ministries. While a growing number of men are now taking on the role of pastor’s spouses, this particular group was comprised solely of women. My goal was to talk about what personal needs were not getting met for these clergy spouses, considering they were spending so much time taking care of others.

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  • Fuzzy boundaries

    Posted Apr 04, 2016 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By Dan Hotchkiss | In too many congregations, leaders actually believe that partnership works best when boundaries of authority are fuzzy. Terms like shared leadership have become popular in recent decades, for reasons some of which, that are understandable and sound. Traditional modes of congregational life, where men dominated women, clergy dominated laity, and wealthy people dominated everybody, have fallen out of sync with the egalitarian principles, not only of congregations but also of society at large.

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