A new call to a new Center for Pastoral Excellence

Posted Aug 10, 2012 | New Media Project

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By Verity A. Jones

If you read the New Media Project e-newsletter, or happen to read news from seminaries in New York and Indianapolis, you may have already heard that I have accepted a new call.

In a few weeks, I will become the Executive Director of the newly created Center for Pastoral Excellence at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Center is “a strategic initiative to identify, train and sustain outstanding ministers and pastors for Christian congregations throughout the United States,” says Matthew Myer Boulton, the president of CTS. With generous initial funding from Lilly Endowment Inc., the Center will offer national and contextual programs to address the long arc of Christian ministry—from discernment to education to initiatives that sustain ministry throughout a pastor's lifetime. In this new position, I will be able to draw upon my experience in pastoral ministry, non-profit and church leadership, journalism, publishing, and research. Kenetha Stanton, our excellent research and administrative assistant, will also be moving to CTS to work with me. You can read more about this announcement on the CTS website.

What does this mean for the New Media Project? It will also move from New York to CTS. It will join an energetic array of initiatives that together will comprise the Center for Pastoral Excellence at CTS. At least one other project is already underway. The Discipleship Project enrolls 12 promising incoming students into a cohort-based, three-year, MDiv program with full scholarships. Other initiatives will be announced in the coming months.

The opportunities to bring the learnings of the New Media Project to bear upon the formation and sustaining of excellent pastoral ministry are numerous and important in our current context. We are equally hopeful about being part of a creative synergy of initiatives at CTS that together can help to rethink and retool theological education for the future.

While we are saddened to leave our initial host institution—Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York—we are eager to get started in our new setting. Union has been a wonderful home for the New Media Project in its initial funding phase. We are grateful for the welcome and support we received from staff and faculty and hope to continue collaborating with Union in the future.

So … watch for more news coming up in the next weeks and months. We’ll share new contact information and probably launch a new “look” to the website. But all of the resources we’ve already created and complied will remain accessible. In fact, the work of sharing these resources more broadly is one of our goals for the next phase of the New Media Project.

Verity A. Jones is the project director of the New Media Project, and a Research Fellow at Union Theological Seminary.

The New Media Project is a research project helping religious leaders become theologically savvy about technology. To request permission to repost this content, please contact newmediaproject@cts.edu.

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