T hrough Thriving in Ministry, the Endowment is helping charitable organizations – especially organizations committed to supporting pastoral leaders in congregations – located in the United States in developing new programs and strengthening existing programs that help pastors build relationships with experienced clergy who can serve as role models and exemplars. The primary aim is to help pastors thrive in congregational leadership and, in doing so, enhance the vitality of the congregations they serve.
Thriving in Ministry seeks to help pastors develop meaningful relationships with wise colleagues who can help guide them through key leadership challenges, especially during transitions in their ministerial careers. The initiative builds upon recent studies that have examined the importance of colleagues and mentors who help pastors face and overcome common professional challenges. These studies include research from the Endowment-funded Flourishing in Ministry project, directed by Matt Bloom at the University of Notre Dame.
The Endowment has approved grants to 78 organizations through Thriving in Ministry. Located in 29 states across the U.S., the organizations are theological schools, faith-based colleges and universities, congregations, denominational agencies, independent religious organizations and religious communities that reflect diverse Christian traditions – mainline and evangelical Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox. The grants vary in amount – from $31,500 to $1 million. The programs they fund will vary in length – from two years to five years. At this time, the Endowment does not have plans to offer an additional round of funding through Thriving in Ministry.