CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. (Wabash College) – The Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program seeks nominations for participants in its two-year program beginning in January 2011.

Eighteen talented, younger pastors of Christian congregations in Indiana who have demonstrated during their first five to ten years of ministry a high potential for significant leadership will be named Wabash Pastoral Fellows. They will participate in a series of meetings and conversations with outstanding leaders, and two study tours during a two-year period beginning in January 2011.

The program is for pastors of congregations in Indiana who have an M.Div. degree from an accredited seminary, have five to ten years experience in ministry since graduation or ordination, have developed some confidence, optimism and security in a pastoral role, and have high potential for the next two or three decades of Christian ministry. Participants will reflect a broad spectrum of Indiana pastors, including regional, denominational, theological, racial, ethnic and gender difference.

The Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program is funded by a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. and is directed by Raymond B. Williams, LaFollette Distinguished Professor in the Humanities emeritus at Wabash College.

“The period from five to ten years in ministry following ordination is one in which professional identity is shaped and the scope and manner of a ministerial career is set,” said Dr. Williams. “That stage of professional development is marked by accelerated executive programs in business and industry, tenure review in educational institutions and partner reviews in law firms. The needs of leaders in Christian pastoral ministry are unique among the professions and will be best addressed in a specialized program for pastoral leadership.

“The Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program will assist [the fellows] in acquiring the skills, knowledge, and contacts to become more effective and respected leaders.”

Three foci of the program to provide occasions for the fellows are:

  1. To reflect and discuss how they proclaim the gospel effectively in contemporary culture and in their local contexts;
  2. To engage Indiana leaders about the challenges and opportunities in the state and to explore with them resources in Christian thought and practice for ethical analysis and effective response to such challenges and opportunities; and
  3. To honor talented younger pastors for their calling and potential by providing special opportunities for reflection, renewal, stimulation, and leadership development as they build friendships and relationships across the state.

For additional information or to nominate a pastor for the program, contact Dr. Williams or Verity A. Jones by email at, by phone at 765-361-6327, or by mail at Wabash College, 301 W. Wabash Avenue, Crawfordsville, IN 47933.

“The needs of leaders in Christian pastoral ministry…will be best addressed in a specialized program for pastoral leadership.”

– Raymond B. Williams