Why Apply to the Advancing Pastoral Leadership Program?

Date Posted: 2/7/2012

The focus of the Advancing Pastoral Leadership program is to assist new clergy leadership in developing their capacity for fruitful and strategic congregational leadership.


Each class group participates in a 5-year program that includes retreats, leadership formation and development, mentorship and executive coaching. APL has been very successful, as the following comments from current participants will attest:



Matt Stone, Kingwood UMC

APL has provided an absolutely essential opportunity to develop the skills and capacity to effectively pastor growing and fruitful United Methodist communities. The content of our learning sessions has been both engaging and transformative for my understanding of the means of effective ministry. I understand more about my own gifts and graces, how to identify and capitalize on the gifts of the community to which I am appointed, and how I can live into our calling to grow the Kingdom of God. However, as valuable as the learning opportunities have been, the covenant community among the  pastors of each cohort has been truly life-and ministry-changing. The relationships that have been forged in our retreats together have sustained me through the hardest times, and encouraged me to move boldly into the growing edges of my life and ministry in the local church.



Meredith Wende, First UMC Wharton

APL has been far more than I ever expected it to be. We all came into the program a bit hesitant, but were blown away within the first few sessions. I've grown exponentially as a pastor and as a leader because of it, and I'm sure my congregations have appreciated that!

Todd Jordan, Cladwell UMC 

Last fall our church found itself in a real financial bind. It seemed the economy and the drought had finally caught up to Burleson County, and this was having a significant impact on giving. In addition, our church had several unexpected bills piling up—everything from new a/c units to bus repairs to termites—all adding up to thousands of dollars; and we hadn’t begun to pay down the $50,000 in apportionments we had due at the end of the year! God’s timing, however, held something in store.


Our APL session during the summer focused on financial giving in the church. Inspired after reading a very helpful book by J. Cliff Christopher, and hearing from experienced pastors at several large churches from around the conference, I put into action what I learned. Not only did we meet the budget and pay the bills, we also managed to send $10,000 to the 2011 Spring Storm Relief Advance, send $5000 to the Bastrop Fire Relief AID and raise $8000 to package and send meals to an orphanage in Zambia. And, yes, we even paid in full our district and conference benevolences.


I am deeply grateful not only for the time and fellowship APL provides, but the practical information and assistance church leadership requires.

Advancing Pastoral Leadership Program Applications Available Soon Applications will be available this spring for the 2012 Class of the Advancing Pastoral Leadership program. If you are an elder with 30 potential years of remaining service to the church, you are eligible to apply. For more information, contact Jenna Arnold, program assistant - (713) 521-9383, ext. 319 or jarnold@txcumc.org.