For Gifted Clergy Seeking to be Nimble Leaders
The Lewis Fellows is a peer-learning experience offered by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary to clergy who seek to hone their leadership ability and who hunger for a more expansive outwardly focused approach to ministry. The program seeks to help gifted early career clergy live into a vision of leadership that reaches beyond the typical, inwardly focused, parochial patterns of congregational life.
The Lewis Fellows is designed around the premise that leadership growth is fostered in a collaborative, peer-learning environment that provides challenge, accountability, and support. The program seeks to help participants broaden the horizon of their leadership through dialogue with clergy and congregations embodying outwardly focused innovative leadership as well as leaders in the private sector, and nonprofit organizations. In 2024, participants will gather three times in-person and twice virtually to explore relevant topics and practices. A central feature of each in-person meeting is a series of visits to local congregations to observe ministry in a variety of cultural contexts and converse candidly with outstanding ministry practitioners about their personal leadership.
2024 Program Dates
Fellows must commit to attending all cohort gatherings. Meeting dates and locations are:
- January 22-25, 2024 —
Miami/Ft. LauderdaleAtlanta area
- May 20-23, 2024 — Chicago area
- October 14-17, 2024 — Washington, DC area
Each gathering is built around a learning agenda facilitated by the staff of the Lewis Center. Group activities include presentations on leadership themes, group discussion, the use of leadership assessment instruments, and worship. A central feature of each meeting is a series of visits to local congregations. These site visits serve as “experiential case studies” allowing participants to observe ministry in a variety of cultural contexts and converse candidly with outstanding ministry practitioners about their personal leadership. Fellows prepare in advance of each meeting through assigned reading and occasionally through the completion of additional pre-work. Two units of Continuing Education Credit (2 CEUs) are issued for each of the three gatherings.
Potential Fellows are selected through an application process. The Lewis Center will consider applications from pastors who:
- Are motivated to be fruitful in ministry by developing their personal leadership
- Are 45 years of age or younger
- Are at least three years beyond a theological education program
- Serve in a congregational setting
- Reside in the continental United States (due to travel budget limitations)
Click this link to begin your application. Applications are due by September 8, 2023. Notifications about acceptance into this program will be issued by October 2, 2023.
The overwhelming share of the costs of each individual’s participation is underwritten by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership. Participants pay a single fee of $1,000. This fee is payable in two installments (the first by October 31 and the second by December 31). Since CEU credit is provided, often participants are able to draw some of their fee from continuing education funds from their congregation or judicatory. Others are often supported by other funds from their congregation or judicatories, by sponsors, or from funds they would use for other learning opportunities. Meals, lodging, and travel for cohort gatherings are provided free of charge and most travel expenses are reimbursable with the exception of airport parking and travel to the airport.