Lewis Fellows

The Lewis Center is currently accepting applications from outstanding young clergy interested in participating in the Lewis Fellows leadership development program in 2020 and 2021.


The Lewis Fellows program is a post-graduate, post-ordination leadership development opportunity for young clergy offered by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary. The program brings together outstanding young clergy (generally under the age of 40) for intensive leadership development activities and sustained peer interaction. Over 260 clergy from more than a dozen denominations have been Fellows since 2005.

Program Overview and Key Dates

Each year, the Lewis Center selects an ecumenical group of outstanding young clergy to be part of a learning community that meets together three times over the course of a year. Each meeting is a four-day gathering (Monday – Thursday) generally held in a hotel or conference center.

Meeting dates and locations for 2020-21 are:

  • October 12 – 15, 2020 — Washington, DC Area
  • January 18 – 21, 2021 — Fort Lauderdale/Miami Area
  • April 19 – 22, 2021 — Kansas City Area

Learning Agenda

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.

Eligibility Requirements

The Lewis Fellows program seeks applicants who:

  • Are under the age of 40
  • Are at least two years but no more than ten years beyond seminary
  • Serve in a congregational setting
  • Reside in the continental United States (due to travel budget limitations)
  • Are motivated by a desire to be fruitful in ministry and develop their personal leadership
  • Are open learning from peers and presenters representing a diverse range of cultural contexts and theological perspectives
  • Can commit to attending all three cohort gatherings

Because there are many more qualified young clergy than can be accommodated in any one year, participants are selected in a manner that promotes group diversity in terms of gender, racial/ethnic background, denominational affiliation, geography, educational experience, and theological perspective.

Program Expenses and Costs

There is a single fee of $1,000 for participation. This fee is payable in two installments of $500 — one due by June 30, 2020, and the other due by August 31, 2020. Since CEU credit is provided, participants can often draw some of their fee from continuing education funds available through their congregation or judicatory.

Meals and lodging during cohort gatherings are provided free of charge and most travel expenses are reimbursable. Please see the Cost and Reimbursement Guide for more details.

 Applying to Become a Lewis Fellows

Those wishing to be considered for the 2020 – 2021 cohort of Lewis Fellows may apply through April 20, 2020. Those accepted will be notified by May 15, 2020. Click to learn about the application process and to apply.

For More Information

Questions can be directed to Dr. F. Douglas Powe, Director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership (dpowe@wesleyseminary.edu), or Dr. Ann A. Michel, Associate Director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, (amichel@wesleyseminary.edu).


Also see “Lewis Community Leadership Fellows ‘Lift their Gaze,’” an article about former Lewis Fellow Rev. Nathan Adams.

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