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Pastoral Leadership for Public Life

PLPL invited me to see a much larger picture of ministry action in the world. I have been encouraged to be more in my community and speak more for those without voice. This PLPL was a powerful point of ministry for me.

Fellowships in Pastoral Leadership for Public Life helps pastors stretch their vision, develop their capacity, and increase their confidence to lead at the intersection of the Good News and the Common Good. It’s an 18-month commitment to learning in community of twelve pastors with five to fifteen years in practice.

What are the benefits?

Pastoral Leadership for Public Life (PLPL) will:

  • Broaden your awareness of public life through exploring
    • the place and function of religion in American life
    • pertinent issues of public life such as criminal justice, environmental concerns, public education, health care and immigration
    • the intersection of public life with dynamics of difference such as race, gender and class
  • Increase your confidence for engaging public life through practices such as
    • establishing local connections
    • interacting with civic leaders and elected officials
    • familiarizing yourself with people and places of policy, advocacy and cultural significance
  • Enhance your capacity for theological reflection at the crossroads of the common good and the Good News through
    • conversation with theologians
    • developing robust public narratives
    • re-interpreting the power of public symbols
  • Gain perspectives on leadership for change through
    • conversation with seasoned practitioners
    • gaining a better understanding of self and context
    • shifting mindsets and growing practical tools

What are the qualities of a PLPL Fellow?

  • 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 her or his own
  • A readiness for expanded leadership

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • Master of Divinity degree or equivalent
  • Ordained or hold the ecclesial equivalent of being credentialed for ministry
  • Serve a congregation or community in the geographical region generally marked by Waco, San Antonio and Austin
  • Have less than fifteen years of pastoral experience, with at least ten or more years remaining to serve in ministry and the community
  • Be available to attend all intensives and fully commit to participation, including pre-work and local action reports

What costs are involved?

  • The Fellowship is underwritten by a grant from the Lilly Foundation and by Austin Seminary.
  • Fellows are expected to make a contribution toward the cost of the Fellowship program, according to their ability to pay for continuing education.
  • Once admitted to the program, Fellows will self-select their contribution in the amount of $250, $500, or $750.
  • This amount can be paid in a lump sum or in installments over the course of the Fellowship.