NTS CENTER FOR PASTORAL LEADERSHIP
WHY A CENTER?
Reportedly, leadership guru Peter Drucker once said that the four hardest jobs in America are the president of the United States, a university president, the CEO of a hospital and a pastor. How well those in ministry know the truth of that statement. Few jobs require such a wide range of competency and skills. At the same time, few jobs are as relationally isolating, emotionally demanding and financially challenging. The need for special focus on this vocation is critical. In response, Nazarene Theological Seminary launched the Center for Pastoral Leadership (CPL) in January 2014.
The CPL seeks to address the unique challenges faced by those in the pastorate and similar ministries. Our goal is to support and encourage pastors in ways that will enable them to flourish in a holistic way (vocationally, emotionally, spiritually, relationally), no matter what season of ministry they find themselves in. Being housed at NTS, the CPL hopes to specifically address the unique challenges that new clergy face. In sum, our goal is to help prepare and sustain men and women clergy for a lifetime of effective service to the Church.
Further, the CPL seeks to redefine and rearticulate the meaning of pastoral leadership. In recent years the Church has looked to the business world for many of its cues when it comes to leadership. And although we have much to learn from our friends in that arena, pastoral leadership must start with Christ – his model of presence, relationship, authenticity and sacrifice. A top priority of the CPL is to help develop just such incarnational leaders in the Church and beyond.
In 2013, NTS held its first ever Preachers Conference with over 300 in attendance. The 2-day event featured some of the Nazarene Church’s most articulate preachers and leaders. In 2014, the CPL took over responsibility for hosting the event and invited preachers from across denominational lines to speak on the theme of Incarnational Leadership in a “Me’” First World. The theme for the 2015 conference (scheduled for September 29-30) is Local Flavor: Preaching in Context and will feature pastors from a variety of ministry settings preaching as they would in their own local context. As a gift and resource to the larger Church, the CPL is pleased to be able to make the sessions from the 2014 conference available to senior pastors attending their annual district assemblies in 2015.
Financial Literacy and Health
In 2014, NTS received two grants to study the impact of financial debt on current students and alumni. The CPL was tapped to lead the implementation of these grants and, in response, hired a Financial Literacy Advisor to access the current debt load of incoming students, as well as provide ongoing budgeting and financial counseling.
Further, the CPL has created a financial tutorial for new students that acclimates them to the basics of borrowing, loan repayment, clergy compensation and more. In the future, the CPL hopes to offer ongoing financial educational opportunities for NTS students.
Lastly, the CPL hopes to be a catalyst for a much larger conversation across the denomination about how best to equip our pastors and churches in this critical area. In coordination with the Global Ministry Center and educational regions, the CPL will seek to identify creative and effective solutions for reducing the educational debt load of so many of our pastors and pastors in training who serve under the burden of constant financial stress.
Web and Life Long Learning Resources
The CPL seeks to offer excellent and timely resources for our pastoral corps that will enable them to continue to grow and develop as persons, ministers, and leaders throughout the entire arc of their careers. Through the website, the CPL hopes to provide an effective resource portal for meeting the 2013 General Assembly’s mandate that all pastors complete 20 CEU/lifelong learning contact hours per year.