This three-year program focuses on equipping clergy with skills needed to be effective leaders in today’s world. All new provisional elders are required to participate during their first three years of ministry, and licensed local pastors are highly encouraged to participate during their first three years. Since 2014, the academy has also been open to seasoned clergy seeking to hone their leadership skills.
Participants meet five times each year (from Thursday morning to mid-day Friday) over a nine-month period.
Each year has a different focus (although clergy can begin the program during any year of the cycle):
Year 1: Leadership style and strengths
Year 2: Building leadership capacity
Year 3: Practices of fruitful congregations
To sign up: The Clergy Leadership Academy welcomes a new group each fall. If you are interested in being part of the next clergy group to participate in this experience or if you have questions, e-mail Director of Ministries Cindy Gregorson. Seasoned clergy wishing to participate must have the recommendation of their district superintendent.
Rev. Nate Melcher, a provisional elder who serves at Hennepin Avenue UMC in Minneapolis, said the best part of the academy is the connection it creates among clergy. “I’ve gotten to know pastors from all over the state who are in different places in their ministry and who are on different ends of the theological spectrum,” he said. “It’s a reminder that we can speak really well to each other and of each other.” Academy members have read and discussed many books that have given them new perspectives—and they regularly share ideas and best practices. Melcher helped a seasoned pastor create a website for his church. Another participant gave him good food for thought about how dynamics can work when it comes to a pastor’s family connecting with the congregation.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church