The 2014 College of Pastoral Leaders Cohorts

The College of Pastoral Leaders (CPL) has selected its Class of 2014. Seven cohort groups were awarded grants to pursue their shared passions and help each other sustain the life of their ministries. CPL was established with the belief that the quality of pastoral leadership matters for the church, and pastors who engage with a community of peers are better able to lead the church. The CPL program is administered by Education Beyond the Walls at Austin Seminary and funds self-designed two-year programs for cohort groups up to six members. Read a little more about each of the 2014 cohort groups.

Chica Chaplains

The Chica Chaplains are four woman chaplains, diverse in work settings, age, ethnicity, tradition, and experience.  We discovered a personal need for community with one another grounded in a sisterhood. We commit to creating sacred space in which we support, embrace and engage with one another in an atmosphere of sisterhood.


The CHIMPS' name is an acronym: "Certain Highly Intelligent and Motivated Presbyterians." We are a group of Executive Presbyters who wish to gather for study, renewal and support. Due to rapid denominational change, we need to share and reflect on the burdens and opportunities of mid-council ministry with trustworthy peers.

Communitas Spiritualis

As young pastors, we pursue honest, intentional community with one another in order to grow in faith and strengthen the communities to which we are called. We will explore what it means to be in spiritual community through study, and visits to Taize, Iona, Northern Ireland, and Ireland.

The Emerging Sister Circle

Six African-American emerging clergywomen in four states will gather quarterly to explore and address the internal and external challenges for clergywomen of color. Each member will host a meeting in her city, where the group will discuss common readings, learn from experienced clergywomen, and form abiding friendships. In addition, the cohort will participate in one women's ministry conference.

The Home Stretch: Making the Most of the Final Riff

Four pastors, whose total experience exceeds a century, commit to retreat, intentional conversation and study to challenge and support each other for creative and purposeful “home-stretches” in ministry. Sharing stories, discovering common and unique themes, reflecting theologically and contextually, we will glean wisdom and creative fodder for our ministry cadenzas.

Into the Noise

Into The Noise represents a vital new place for leaders in the church to develop and practice a robust and thoughtful posture towards art and popular culture—one that explores the opportunities it provides for growth, wholeness, and discipleship. 

The Wholly Writers

We are an ecumenical group of ordained female pastors, committed to writing as part of our pastoral work and identities.  As we claim our writing voices and discern how they can benefit the greater Church, we need committed and communal support to integrate writing into our whole lives.