Churches interested in serving as a residency site for the small-church residency program For Such A Time As This can now designate that when completing their Ministry Information Forms (MIF).
They will then be able to manage their own search process within the Church Leadership Connection (CLC) rather than applying through the office of Theology, Worship and Education.
Previously, residency sites were able to call residents only during one designated time a year.
Any resident called to a church between Oct.1, 2013, and Aug. 1, 2014, will be a part of the 2014 class and will attend orientation in August 2014.
Launched in 2009, For Such A Time As This was designed to renew and grow small churches and help them to become healthy, missional congregations. The program pairs small, underserved congregations in rural, small town and urban settings with recent seminary graduates for a two-year pastoral-residency relationship, during which they are supported and guided by a cluster of pastor-mentors.
Since For Such a Time as This began, 31 recent seminary graduates have served 37 congregations in 13 presbyteries.
The new changes in the CLC application process will allow the program to reach a greater number of churches while nurturing and sustaining more transformational leaders.
“By allowing the process to run directly through the CLC, pastor nominating committees will have more control over their search process and a wider number of applicants to consider, while candidates seeking a call will be able to know ahead of time where the residency congregations are located, a factor which impacts many candidates who may be geographically limited in their search,” said Cindy Cushman, coordinator of For Such A Time As This.
Participants in the program are excited about the positive changes that For Such A Time As This residents are bringing to their churches. In response to a survey about the program’s impact, one respondent said, “This program is integral to shaping the future of the church and equipping leaders to serve these smaller membership churches.”
Interested candidates and churches for the class of 2014 are encouraged to visit the For Such A Time As This website for further information.