Pastoral Excellence Network brings work to a close

Sep 01, 2016 | Pastoral Excellence Network

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It is with some sadness that we tell you that the Pastoral Excellence Network (PEN) will conclude its work by November 25, 2016. We are honored to have been invited by Lilly Endowment Inc. and Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis to work together on such an important initiative supporting clergy. And we remain grateful for the visionary work of the founding directors, Christina Braudaway-Bauman and Susan Dickerman. 

Since January 2013 when the Network was launched, building on the success of the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence (SPE) and the Transition into Ministry (TiM) initiatives, PEN has served clergy and the church by: 

  • bringing together a faculty from earlier SPE programs to lead workshops for Peer Power: Cultivating Clergy Communities of Practice conferences;
  • utilizing the expertise of TIM mentoring pastors and current pastoral residents to hold Pastoral Residency Schools to prepare church leaders to launch the next generation of pastoral residency programs;
  • responding to requests for mentor training and clergy peer coaching in regional conferences and denominations;
  • facilitating retreats for clergy at every season of ministry: newly ordained,  mid-career, and approaching retirement;
  • providing training at seminaries launching peer learning groups focused on preaching;
  • offering a series of free, monthly webinars called PEN Talks to share the expertise of those within the Pastoral Excellence Network;
  • providing a PEN on-line training course on program evaluation and an upcoming on-line training on facilitating peer learning groups; and
  • providing Catalyst Grants, Collaborative and Resource Grants, and Launching Grants to over 65 institutions as they launched new programs.

We are proud of what we have accomplished with you, especially the outcomes that you have experienced. It is difficult to estimate how many pastors have been served by the work of PEN. We know that like a rippling pond continues to send out its waves and expand into broader territory, the work of PEN continues in the hands, hearts and imagination of those who have caught the Spirit of this work and continue to bring rich opportunities for learning and support to clergy across many faith traditions. It is our hope that programs will continue to share resources and information with each other, and will find new ways to collaborate to deepen and expand this work. In a future newsletter, we’ll outline ways that you may access some of the fruits of the Network.

Though our work will conclude in November, in many ways, it feels like we are only just beginning. May God bring forth the harvest of our efforts in partnership with you.


Lawrence Peers, Director  
Willie Sordillo, Administrator

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