Clergy Women Thriving Vocationally
Research and experience show and tell us that pastors with fellow clergy support networks have reduced feelings of isolation and aloneness, and clergy mentoring relationships can play a critical role in helping to reduce many of the stressors and challenges faced by pastors. In the Evangelical Covenant Church, 21% of our pastors are women. Many of our lead or solo female pastors are serving in small towns or rural areas without access to a network of other clergy women, or they are an associate pastor serving on a team of primarily men and are missing a female mentoring relationship. Women need to see and experience other women leading in pastoral ministry. Women need to be supported by those who have developed resilience and strategies for the unique challenges facing women in ministerial leadership.
The goal of the Thriving Vocationally focus of our grant, is to help address these issues of isolation and lack of examples, through forming cohorts of clergy women in their first 5-10 years of ministry, who will be mentored by a seasoned clergy woman. These cohorts may be formed by location or interest and will be designed by the women to fit their needs.
What Are the Cohorts?
Cohorts will be year-long and made up of 6-8 women journeying with a mentor on the road toward growth, renewal, and inspiration. Cohorts will be resourced and supported through grant funds. These additional networking opportunities will allow women to address their unique challenges in ministry and breakthrough invisible barriers.
Who Is Involved?
This opportunity is specifically for female clergy who are currently serving in a church or ministry setting. Mentors will be seasoned female clergy and mentees are those in the first 5-10 years of ministry. Women can apply as a cohort seeking a mentor, as an individual seeking a cohort and mentor, or as a mentor looking to be paired with a cohort. The cohorts will be formed based on location, interest, or affinity groups.
What Is the Commitment?
Once formed, mentoring cohorts will meet a minimum four times over the course of the year in their region. All cohorts will gather together twice a year, at the Midwinter Conference and once during the summer. Grant funds will be available to use for gatherings and travel as requested.