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PLPL Fellows are pastors who have mastered basic competencies of ministry and are poised to become exceptional pastoral leaders. They will not become subject matter experts on public issues—although their knowledge base will expand—nor will they become adept in strategies for public advocacy or organizing—although action may follow from their learning. PLPL Fellows will, however, be changed in who they are as leaders.

The Fellowship

Twelve PLPL Fellows will be selected to form a cohort of pastors from diverse traditions serving in diverse settings within the region between and including San Antonio, Austin and Waco.

Fellows Will:

  • Become part of an ecumenical learning community of peer pastors. 
  • Learn from effective, well-respected public leaders from a variety of fields who are committed to the common good. Issues to be addressed include public education, criminal justice, political process, water, immigration, health care, and business.
  • Develop skills for theological reflection with guidance from Austin Seminary faculty.
  • Be eligible for funds to meet individually with public leaders, to shadow peers, and to experiment with an action project.
  • Receive a $1,500 stipend.

PLPL Fellows will meet eight times over a 15-month period. Each session will begin with dinner on Sunday evening and conclude with lunch on Tuesday. Five retreats will be held at Austin Seminary; three retreats will be held in other locations within the region. Additional time commitments are flexible and arranged by Fellows. Food, lodging and the cost of transportation is provided as a benefit of the fellowship.

Qualities of PLPL Fellows

Twelve Fellows will be selected to form a diverse cohort of pastors who share the following qualities:

  • a clear sense of vocation for ministry and of pastoral identity
  • a demonstrated investment in growing skills and competencies for ministry
  • the ability to take perspectives other than his or her own
  • humility, integrity, creativity and generosity
  • a readiness for expanded leadership.

Eligibility Criteria

      Fellowship applicants must:

  • hold a Master of Divinity degree or equivalent,
  • be ordained or hold the ecclesial equivalent credential for ministry,
  • currently serve a congregation or faith community,
  • have at least five years of experience with at least ten years left to serve in ministry, and
  • be available to attend all sessions and fully commit to participation.

We believe pastors are called to reflect theologically on current events and public issues in faithfully shaping their ministries. Leaders of Christian faith need to be in relationship with leaders of many spheres of public life. They need to know how to connect the stories of our communities with God’s story. PLPL Fellows are pastors preparing themselves to meet that need.

This work is made possible through a grant from Lilly Endowment.