Leadership Development


In an effort to financially manage the current pandemic and prioritize the well-being of all our congregations, the Congregational Capital Improvement Challenge Grant, Leadership Development Grant, Wider Church Fund Grant, and Sower’s Project Grants are on hold until further notice. MNYS is committed to caring for all God’s people and to the sustainment of our members, leaders, congregations, and communities in the light of the Holy Spirit.


Leadership Development Grant

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


Sharpen Your Skills!

We’re making available $150,000 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.

Applications can be received up to a year in advance of an event or training. To review applications as quickly as possible, the review team has arranged this quarterly schedule for application, review, and approval:  


2/15/2020 Application Deadline

  • For events and trainings after 4/1/2020
  • Recommendations are presented to the Synod Council for approval on 3/24/2020


Leadership Development Grants Awarded

Over thirty Leadership Development Grants have been awarded, which 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. 
  • Pr. Marc Herbst, on behalf of the Western Nassau Conference, received $4,550 to host a workshop entitled "An Understanding of Jesus in His Jewish Context: A Workshop for Preachers, Teachers, Bible Study Leaders and Religious Educations, and Anyone Interested in Understanding the Gospels" with Dr. Amy-Jill Levine, Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University.
  • Pr. Richard Hill received a $7,500 grant for a one-day conference for pastors and lay leaders to discuss church growth.
  • Mr. Roberto Lara Aranda received a $1,500 grant to assist with expenses related to being a presenter for an interfaith conference with The Theological Community of Mexico, through the ELC of Mexico.
  • Pr. Danielle Miller was granted $2,200 towards obtaining a Certificate in Transformational Architecture through The Hatchery, an organization that focuses on training leaders to develop innovative, sustainable models of church.
  • Pr. Samuel Silaban was granted $3,000 to help with voice and public speaking coaching with Cecilia deWolf, a professional in live communication.
  • Joyce Stahl, on behalf of the Peconic Conference, was granted $2,500 for an Art and Worship weekend on May 6-7, 2017. Stephanie Burke, a liturgical artist from North Carolina, led this event.
  • Synod Deacon Diogenes Vazquetelles-Trujillo was 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 was 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 was granted $2,000 to attend Stephen Ministry Leadership training.
  • Pr. John Flack was awarded a $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 were 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), was awarded $2,000 for two events in 2017, to commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.
  • Pastor Joanne Bond was 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.
  • Pastor Daniel Peter Penumaka, with Pr. Jeffrey Kolbo, were awarded $5,000 to open a Center for Christian Spiritual Renewal.  Which will provide seminars, panel discussions, revival meetings, annual lectures, liturgical workshops and published materials. 
  • Pastor Kimberly Wilson received an individual grant for $3,000 to be trained and certified as a spiritual director.
  • Deacon Gary Schaeffer received $2,100 to attend two one-week training sessions that equip executive leaders with fewer than five years experience in non-profit ministries.
  • 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 that uses the churchs' rich heritage to shed light on contemporary challenges.
  • 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 on 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 received $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 received an individual $1,700 grant to attend the ELCA School Directors Boot Camp.