2012 College of Pastoral Leader Cohort Groups

The College of Pastoral Leaders (CPL) offers pastors resources to enliven, invigorate and sustain the life of ministry. The College challenges pastors to create a learning community of four to six ministers who will design and pursue their own learning agenda over a two-year period.  Each learning community is accountable for setting and reporting on their own benchmarks.

The College supports pastors by providing funding for pursuit of their learning community’s agenda. The follow eight cohort groups have been awarded grants. Meet the 2012 CPL Cohorts and read about each of their missions.

Application for the next class of cohorts will be available March 1. More information will be provided in the March issue of The Reed.

Belonging to the Body

Members of Belonging to the Body ask “What makes us the Church together?” when shared perspectives or life experiences are no longer a given in congregations. These Lutheran and Presbyterian pastors from the Twin Cities will gather to tackle this question—and take care of themselves—in 24-hour monthly retreats.

Families in Ministry

Families in Ministry are three Presbyterian Church (USA) clergy couples, all with very young children, who seek balance between ministry and family through fellowship, play, and study. Their goals are to sustain healthy ministries, marriages, and families. Sometimes they will gather only as couples; and at other times with their children. They will invite long-time clergy couples to share their life experiences as clergy families.

First Callers

First Callers formed as six pastors in their first calls of ministry. They have sustained bonds of friendship formed in seminary and together are committed to exploring how churches in different contexts “do” worship. They are looking at how the church is a part of the local community, especially contrasting urban and rural communities. Through this, they will deepen their knowledge, broaden the shape of their calls, and nurture and support each other's ministries.



Six women pastors from the Baltimore Washington Conference (UMC) form inteGR8. They love the church and long for its renewal. At the same time, they long for an integrated life that balances family and church, work and recreation, service and prayer. They will gather monthly for activities, conversations, experiences, and projects that engage the five practices of loving God with heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Male Spirituality

Male Spirituality is comprised of four Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastors working together for spiritual growth and to enhance ministry to other men. The group is exploring what masculine spirituality means for the sake of men’s wholeness and maturity, addressing what has been lacking for many men in the church. They will meet in wilderness retreats for study and silence in the transforming power of creation.

Preacher as Artist

Libraries abound with volumes about the practice of preaching and its theological implications. Very little exists about preaching as art. Members of Preacher as Artist represent a variety of traditions but hold in common a love for the way language is shaped and voiced in preaching. Members of this cohort are working with artists to consider the creative process, the muse, the vulnerability, and the mystery of preaching as art and preacher as artist.

Reverent Writers

Every second Wednesday of the month the four clergy women of Reverent Writers gather to workshop writing, share prayer concerns and support each other in their callings. They will expand their gatherings to include conferences, a week-long writing retreat with an instructor, and intentional conversations with people in the publishing industry.

Soulful Seasons, City Living

Soulful Seasons, City Living is a cohort of five dynamic, multi-ethnic, bi-denominational women under age 35 who serve as associate pastors in congregations across the Washington, D.C. area. They will spend extended time together quarterly in reflective retreat, study, prayer, cooking, travel, and self-care, leaving the fumes of the city and seeking to breathe in the seasons of God’s goodness.