Six New College of Pastoral Leaders Cohort Groups Named

Over the past decade, The College of Pastoral Leaders has served more than 460 pastors from 25 denominations and 35 states.

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary is committed to the lifelong learning of pastors and leaders of the church. One of our key programs that supports this effort is The College of Pastoral Leaders. This program offers resources to enliven, invigorate, and sustain the life of ministry through selfdesigned learning agendas in small covenant groups. 

Six new cohort groups have received grants from the College of Pastoral Leaders (CPL). These groups make up the class of 2012B (The “B” indicates this is the second class of cohorts admitted this calendar year as the CPL program shifted its cycle from calendar year to academic year.)

Through the CPL program, pastors are offered the resources to enliven, invigorate, and sustain the life of their ministry. Here’s how they describe themselves and their goals:

Puget Sound Young Clergy
A group of six United Methodist and Presbyterian pastors are passionate clergy, deeply committed to sustaining effective ministry in local parishes as they bring the good news of the gospel to their varied 21st-century communities. They have proposed a two-year learning project that will focus on personal spiritual practices and corporate worship.

Sacred Spaces
Sacred Spaces is a group of five clergy under 40 who have served in pastoral ministry for fewer than ten years. Finding that pastoral ministry is filled with unpredictability and crowded scheduling, their goal is to enhance professional proficiency and intimacy with God, through identifying, exploring, and convening sacred spaces.

Simply Divine- Artistic Expression as a Means of Grace
Four United Methodist women will explore the creative arts as a spiritual means of grace in order to nurture their spirituality and understanding of the Divine. They will foster the development of artistic Christian expression through a variety of media and produce some form of artwork to be shared in community upon completion.

Society of Pastoral Excellence
Six Austin Seminary alumni, serving as Presbyterian congregational leaders, are the founding members of a society that seeks to strive for pastoral excellence through the practice of peer coaching. They seek to pilot a model of coaching that could be used throughout the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to encourage pastors in the pursuit of their calling for the sake of the Church Universal.

Stone Rings
The Stone Rings are an intentionally diverse fellowship of recently graduated clergy and neo-monastics who seek to study prominent liturgical symbols of the Christian faith. They represent the Presbyterian, United Methodist, and Episcopal faith communities. They are male and female, gay and straight, Boomer and Gen X.

The Table
Together, the six women of The Table,   believe God gives good gifts to God’s kids, and chief among them are communion with God and with each other. In response, they commit to gathering together and sharing bread and wine, that they might be strengthened for lifetimes of fruitful ministry.

2012 Annual Conference: The Power and Practice of Personal Storytelling

The College of Pastoral Leaders gathers for an annual three-day conference at the Austin Seminary campus for spiritual refreshment. This year’s conference, “The Power and Practice of Personal Storytelling,” will be held October 22-24 with author Mark Yaconelli as the keynote speaker.

Yaconelli will lead participants through presentations, contemplative exercises, theological reflection, and a variety of narrative practices. Cohort members will encounter the power of storytelling for healing, spiritual formation, community building, outreach, social justice, and other ministries.

Mark Yaconelli is the author of Wonder, Fear, and Longing a Book of Prayer. He is the founder The Hearth: Real Stories by Regular Folks, a community storytelling project in Southern Oregon that holds seasonal events in which community members tell true stories from their own lives in order to raise money and awareness for local non-profits.

Find out more about the CPL Program