Travel grants available for course ‘Polarization as an Opportunity for Ministry’

By Janet Ober Lambert

As part of Bethany Theological Seminary’s initiative to “Build Bridges Across Ideological Divides,” the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership is offering a series of TRIM-level courses to help clergy recognize and meaningfully address division in their congregations and communities. First up is “Polarization as an Opportunity for Ministry,” a course with Russell Haitch, professor of Theology and Human Science at Bethany.

This course will look at both problems and solutions. It will examine politics, evolving media, AI, and other forces driving divisions. At the same time, participants will explore how leaders can help people find common ground–and higher ground–in situations of strife. Participants will address both the theological content and pastoral skills that leaders need in order to be agents of reconciliation and Christ-centered unity in an era of polarization.

This course is being offered as an onsite intensive at Bethany Seminary in Richmond, Ind. Course dates are April 11-13, 2024, with two additional Zoom sessions to be scheduled, one before and one after the time at Bethany.

The Brethren Academy will provide a travel stipend of up to $300 for 8 pastors or church leaders who register for this course. The stipend is to offset travel costs, reimbursement upon submission of travel receipts. To qualify for a travel grant, individuals must be currently and actively serving a congregation. Those who wish to apply for a travel grant may email the Brethren Academy at for an application.

Registration is open to TRIM and EFSM students as well as those seeking continuing education and/or personal enrichment. More information about the course, a link to the course brochure, and registration instructions may be found at

— Janet Ober Lambert is director of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership.


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