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College of Pastoral Leaders

Registration is now closed for the 2017 Cohorts.

The College of Pastoral Leaders exists to enliven, invigorate, and sustain the life of ministry. It’s not a place where one earns a degree; it is an association of church leaders committed to learning in community, over time, for their own flourishing in ministry and the sake of the Gospel.

We believe …

More than 80% of College members agreed that their peer groups allowed for frank disagreement, made them better listeners, were fun, gave them new energy for ministry, and stretched them in many ways.

The quality of pastoral leadership matters for the church. When pastors become more fully alive, congregations and ministries become more fully alive—for the sake of the world and the glory of God.

Vital church leadership depends on life-long learning and transformation. Transformation happens in community and over time.

Pastors can be trusted to discern what they need. They deserve both challenge and support.

Pastoral leaders need communities of trusted peers who know and understand the calling because ministry can be lonely and isolating.

The College is built on these foundations.

The College challenges pastors in groups of four to six to form a community dedicated to renewal for ministry. Cohorts receive a grant of $10,000 to fund their self-designed agenda over a two-year period.

It works.

Since 2003, more than one hundred communities of pastors, chaplains and church leaders have participated in the College with a wide variety of activities. Regardless of what they do, pastors find:

  • spiritual refreshment drawn from time spent with trustworthy colleagues in a safe place;
  • intellectual growth through garnering of fresh ideas;
  • physical renewal through breaks from day-to-day routines and just plain fun; and
  • new vocational energy for commitments to ministry.

The 2016 edition of Communitas, the Journal of Education Beyond the Walls, was written by the Fellows in our 2014 Pastoral Leadership for Public Life cohort. Writer Donna Johnson, author of Holy Ghost Girl, served as editor and consultant.


To subscribe to Communitas, click here.


© 2017 Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
100 E. 27th Street Austin, Texas 78705
P: 512-404-4800
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