Brethren Academy, Ministry Office, Bethany Seminary Create New Sustaining Ministerial Excellence Advanced Seminar

The Brethren Academy, the Church of the Brethren Office of Ministry, and Bethany Theological Seminary are developing a new Sustaining Ministerial Excellence Advanced Seminar to succeed the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence (SPE) program that concluded last year. The first seminar experience is scheduled for Jan. 16-19, 2015, designated as a Beginning Retreat for a Bivocational Pastors Cohort.

A follow up to SPE

From 2004 to 2013, 197 pastors and 10 district executives completed the SPE program funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and administered by the Brethren Academy. The SPE participants focused on holistic health (intellectual, spiritual, emotional, relational, physical), greater connectedness to the whole church, and transformational leadership.

This new continuing education option of the Sustaining Ministry Excellence Advanced Seminar will include components from SPE as well as the Advanced Pastoral Seminar offered in the past by the denomination and seminary.

Seminar participants to examine church, ministry

Participants in the Sustaining Ministry Excellence Advanced Seminar will
— examine the church and its mission in today‚Äôs society,
— create strategies for personal and professional growth,
— participate in community with other ministers, and
— explore theological issues and ministry topics with seminary faculty, denominational leaders, and seminar members.

Cohorts will be formed for bi-vocational pastors, full-time pastors, chaplains, ordained camp staff, and those serving in other ministry contexts. Participants will attend four four-day retreats over the course of two years. Four continuing education units will be granted upon completion of the program.

Contact the Brethren Academy at academy@bethanyseminary.edu or 765-983-1824 for additional information. Pastors are invited to join in this opportunity that encourages lifelong learning and builds up the body of Christ.

— Julie M. Hostetter contributed to this report. She is executive director of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, a partnership of the Church of the Brethren and Bethany Seminary.