Envision an opportunity for clergy and laity pairs to be an intentional community, engaging in conversation about practical church strategies and understanding the ways that relational leadership skills are critical to a healthy congregational future. The Leadership Fellows Program dedicates itself to this vision.
Year one, which starts in the fall, focuses on who we are as leaders and how to be more effective in relationships. During year two, Fellows learn to look at their church and community with a different lens, hearing about church strategies they can put into practice. All of this happens through a mix of faculty sharing, alongside interactive discussion and peer learning. During the two year program, a covenant community develops, and trusting relationships build.
Each Fellow is matched with a coach to help in connecting the classroom learning with the person’s ministry context, establishing connections between session content and the challenges and opportunities in their churches and lives. Coaches reinforce accountability, provide feedback and support.
Fellows meet seven times a year for eight hours each session. The sessions are on Mondays from 1-5 pm, and Tuesdays from 8 am – 12 pm at Edenton Street UMC in Raleigh. Those who live 1.5 hours or more away are invited to stay in a nearby hotel on Monday night, at the Center’s expense. All Fellows are invited to join an optional lunch at noon on Mondays for fellowship and to transition into the learning environment.
The North Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church makes a significant investment in the Fellows Program. In addition, the annual tuition for Leadership Fellows is $500 per person. Scholarship funds through the Center may be pursued if available funding is a deterrent to being enrolled.