Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Leadership Development

Leadership Development

Continuing education and formation help our leaders serve more effectively and confidently in this particular season of mission.

Leadership Development Grants

Sharpen Your Skills
We’re putting up $100,000 every year into Leadership Development Grants for you to gain new skills for ministry in our changing world. The Leadership Development Grant, funded by our strategic plan, provides a special focus on supporting programs that will specifically nurture education, training, and formation for leadership skills and qualities that complement the aims of the Claimed, Gathered, and Sent Strategies. Download the application here.

To review applications as quickly as possible, the review team has set up this quarterly schedule for application, review, and approval:  

Application Deadline

2/22/2017 Grant Review Team meets
3/7/2017 Recomendations are presented to Steering & Executive Committees
3/21/2017 Recomendations are presented to the Synod Council for approval

Application Deadline

5/31/2017 Grant Review Team meets
6/6/2017 Recomendations are presented to Steering & Executive Committees
6/20/2017 Recomendations are presented to the Synod Council for approval

Application Deadline

8/2017 Grant Review Team meets
9/2017 Recomendations are presented to Steering & Executive Committees
9/2017 Recomendations are presented to the Synod Council for approval 

Application Deadline
11/2017 Grant Review Team meets
12/2017 Recomendations are presented to Steering & Executive Committees
12/2017 Recomendations are presented to the Synod Council for approval


Leadership Development Grants Awarded

Over thirty Leadership Development Grants have been awarded that have supported a wide range of events, resource centers, and collegial groups. Individuals have also received grants that have help strengthen their skills as leaders in our church. 

  • Synod Deacon Diogenes Vazquetelles-Trujillo has been granted $3,000 to defray the cost of attendance at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, where he is currently enrolled and completing the requirements for a Master of Arts in Public Leadership.
  • Dr. William Rusch has been granted $1,000 to attend a conference in which he was invited to participate, "Luther: A Catholic Re-reading in an Ecumenical Perspective" in Rome, February 2017.
  • Pr. Jonathan Pryer has been granted $2,000 to attend Stephen Ministry Leadership training.
  • Pr. John Flack has been awarded $6,000 grant for a third year of TCEK (Theological Continuing Education at Koinonia), an intensive and focused, theological continuing education program for rostered leaders.
  • Pr. Chryll Crews and Pr. Justin Lathrop have both been awarded $3,000 to attend an Executive Skills Workshop for Church Leaders at Spirit of the Desert Retreat Center in Carefree, Arizona.
  • Rev. Joel Brandt, on behalf of LARC (Lutheran Anglican Roman Catholic dialogue), has been awarded $2,000 for two events in 2017 to commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.
  • Pastor Joanne Bond has been awarded $5,000 for a Youth Ministry Seminar that is open to pastors, deacons, and youth leaders throughout the synod.
  • Synod Deacon Meg Fielding was granted $4,200 for to present programs on racial sensitivity and racial justice for the diakonia and Deacon's Retreats. 
  • Pastor Rich Hill has received $2,000 for a Building Men for Christ training event on November 12, 2016. Learn more here
  • Pastor Daniel Peter Penumaka, with Pr. Jeffrey Kolbo, have been awarded $5,000 to open a Center for Christian Spiritual Renewal that will provide seminars, panel discussions, revival meetings, annual lectures, liturgical workshops and published materials. 
  • Pastor Kimberly Wilson received an indiviudal grant for $3,000 to be trained and certified as a spiritual director.
  • Deacon Gary Schaeffer recieved $2,100 to attend two one-week training sessions that equip executive leaders with less than five years experience in non-profit ministires.
  • Pastor Flora Hartford was awarded a $2,500 grant to help her in attending the 2016 Festival of Homiletics.
  • Pastors Paul Egensteiner and Fred McElderry received $7,500 to convene a group event which uses the church’s rich heritage to shed light on contemporary challenges. Learn more about this April 25-28, 2016 event here
  • Quadrant One offered a workshop on food, race, and climate change on May 7, 2016. 
  • Pastor Robert Fritch was awarded $1,500 to co-lead a 13-day pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan.
  • Pastor Linda Bell was awarded two grants totaling $2,286 for the ELCA Worship Jubilee and the African Descent Lutheran Association Biennial Conference and Celebration. 
  • Pastor Kimberli Lile was able to attend two Spanish language intensives with a $3,000 grant.
  • Pastor Marc Herbst was awarded a $1,600 grant to help him in attending the 2015 Festival of Homiletics.
  • Pastor Garrett Johnson received $1,000 to support his local leadership with the 2015 National Youth Gathering. 
  • Pastor Harry Schenkel of St. Paul's, East Northport was awarded a $3,000 grant to attend Senior Pastor Training at Gettysburg Seminary. 
  • Pastor Craig Miller received a $3,000 grant to support him in a fourth month sabbatical education and time of spiritual development. 
  • Pastor Jonathan Pryer received a $4,500 grant to convene a localized Clinical Pastoral Care Group in Long Island. 
  • Pastor Jim Rowe from Redeemer, Kingston received $2,850 for the Hudson Conference Education Event where they Pastor David Hansen spoke about social media practices for the church.
  • Pastor Sonja Maclary recieved $3,000 for Intentional Ministry Training, which she is now using as the interim pastor for Atonement, Saugerties.  
  • Pastors John Flack and Stephanie Kershner received $3,000 each to convene a group event focusing on both how to use scripture for faith formation and adult faith and discipleship formation processes.
  • Pastor Dan Ward, dean of the Hudson conference, received $1,500 to convene a group to host Professor Tim Wengert on our program theme of Mutual Conversation and Consolation for parish ministry. 
  • Pastor John Krahn from Ascension, Deer Park received $1,800 to convene a group in his conference to learn about stewardship from Dr. Phil Krey.
  • Deacon Judy Hinsch got an individual $1,700 grant to attend the ELCA School Directors Boot Camp.


Share your event

Many Leadership Development Grants are to help with educational events for leaders. All publicity should note that the event is made possible in part by a Leadership Development Grant of the Metropolitan New York Synod's Strategic Plan. Here are some best practices for sharing your event:

  • Create a flyer to share. Here's a template to get started
  • Submit an event page listing on mnys.org.
  • Create an event page on Facebook and invite friends and colleagues to join. You can also post as a visitor to the MNYS Facebook page
  • Consider mailing postcards or a flyer to people in the area who would be interested in attending. 
  • Contact your local dean to help share the flyer and event information. 
  • If applicable, share the event details and flyer with other local churches, schools, or businesses. 
  • Don't forget what you might be able to do during and after an event as well. Live tweet speaker quotes with a hashtag from your event. Post photos of the event on Facebook and social media. Share a short video from the event -- perhaps reflections from the speaker or participants.

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