Early career programs are part of the Endowment’s commitment to support and strengthen pastors in the first decade of their ministries. They are designed to help new pastors make the transition to professional ministry, understand the financial issues that affect them and their work, strengthen leadership, and help them build strong peer networks.

National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders

Launched in 2015, these programs across the United States help pastors strengthen their financial literacy skills and provide direct aid to assist them in reducing or eliminating education debt.


These programs provide leadership development resources for pastors during their first two years of ministry. Launched by the Endowment in 1999, this initiative has engaged close to 1,000 pastors through more than 50 programs. The programs come in two forms. Congregational-based residency programs place a pastors in two-year residencies that provide mentoring, a collaborative environment and reflection opportunities. Institutional-based programs support pastors who are in their first jobs as pastors with peer gatherings at regular intervals during a period of three years or more to provide, mentoring, encouragement and reflection opportunities. The Forum for Theological Exploration continues the work of the initiative.LEARN MORE

Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program

The Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program provides pastors with a rich understanding of public life in Indiana and Christian resources that will help prepare them for major leadership roles in the future. Goals of the program are to enhance excellence in ministry of a group of talented young pastors in Indiana and to raise the professional and social status of ministry appropriately by expanding their circles of contacts and influence. LEARN MORE

Early Career Pastoral Leadership Development Initiative

Inspired by the success of the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program, the Endowment created this national initiative to help pastors across the United States. These 17 early career programs are based at colleges, universities and seminaries in 13 states and the District of Columbia. Wabash College, through its Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program, coordinates the initiative and provides opportunities for shared learning among leaders of the early career programs.LEARN MORE