Nazarene Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the launch of its Center for Pastoral Leadership (CPL), under the direction of Dr. Jesse Middendorf, General Superintendent Emeritus for the Church of the Nazarene.
“NTS is excited about the presence of our new Center for Pastoral Leadership,” shared NTS President Carla Sunberg. “Not only is NTS preparing missional pastors and leaders for the future of the church, but we also want to be a resource for those already active in ministry. Dr. Jesse Middendorf brings great incarnational pastoral and general church leadership to the table and we are thrilled to have him directing this new important initiative.”
When asked to comment about why he accepted the challenge to lead the NTS Center for Pastoral Leadership, Dr. Middendorf revealed the following: “In some ways, I see the last 46 years of my ministry as preparation for this next phase of service. Having seen leadership around the globe within the context of the Church of the Nazarene as well as within the context of the broader holiness movement, I believe that leadership is one of the most critical elements for the fulfillment of the mission of the church.
“The concept of leadership for me is entirely founded on the incarnation. We can appropriately use secular models of organization and leadership to a point; but there comes a place at which the Church is all together distinct and other. In a post-Christian era, the nature of Christian leadership has to be redefined, rearticulated and engaged within the understanding of the incarnation.”
And it is within this understanding (the incarnation as the context for Christian leadership) that all work within the NTS Center for Pastoral Leadership will be done. The primary mission for the NTS Center for Pastoral Leadership is to develop incarnational leaders in the Church within the seminary context. The NTS CPL will offer a myriad of resources to ministers, including: host events, webinars and retreats; offer continuing education; produce, gather and offer resources; and provide a place for meaningful dialogue and understanding around the need for genuine incarnational leadership in the Church.
The NTS CPL will endeavor to work closely with the USA/Canada Regional Office in the Global Ministry Center in order to support its work with churches and ministers throughout North America. In addition, the Nazarene Global Consortium of Graduate Schools of Theology, of which NTS is a part, will also be a valuable resource partner as the work of the CPL gets underway.
One of the first events that the NTS CPL will host will take place this fall as the Seminary hosts its second Preacher’s Conference. The event this year will take place September 30 – October 1 and will be on the theme, The Preacher, The Leader and the Incarnation: The Incarnation as the Context for Christian Leadership. Though the overall format will be very similar to the event that NTS hosted last October, it will also include more panel discussions and teaching, in addition to times of preaching and proclamation. Preachers and keynote speakers for this anticipated event will be announced soon here on the NTS website, on the NTS Facebook page and via the NTS Twitter feed. Registration will begin late spring.