About the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Ministry

Through a creative alliance between Syracuse University and Le Moyne College, the “Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Ministry” seeks to recruit, gather, and equip cohorts of gifted faith leaders who have at least 5 years of ministry experience.

The core purpose of this initiative is to offer a dynamic and distinctive setting for the formation of visionary leaders that are empowered to flourish within the contemporary era through creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. These groups, which will meet over the course of six months, will focus on various aspects of leadership development with the goal of thriving vocationally and thus enhancing the vitality of the communities they serve.

Using a multi-generational and ecumenical approach, ministry fellows will receive guidance from recognized scholars and experienced clergy, and will have opportunities to mentor undergraduate students, all for the sake of focusing on – and responding to – the diversity of challenges and possibilities found in our contemporary ministry context.

Due to the generous funding of the Lilly Endowment Inc., in addition to support provided by Syracuse University and Le Moyne College, this program is free of charge for all selected participants.

Program Components   Program Cost   Ideal Candidates   Apply Now

What Participants Can Expect

The Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Ministry will bring together a diverse collection of promising practitioners with the goal of sparking innovation and transformation for mission-driven faith communities in central New York and beyond. This program is ideal for emerging faith leaders who seek to lead change in their organizations.

The program examines how to thrive in ministry through the midst of uncertain times. We will give particular attention to being grounded in one’s faith tradition, awareness of strengths and opportunities for improvement, and sparking the joy that is found in co-creating change for the sake of developing mission-driven communities. Through an action and reflection cycle, participants will grow both their roots and reach, for the sake of thriving in ministry.

Among other things, participants will acquire a deeper understanding of their own vocation; develop new insights about individual and community change; foster new relationships with area leaders, professionals, and students; and help all areas of their community’s ability to innovate over the course of time.

Program Components

The program delivery model includes:

  • On-Site Residencies
  • 5 Synchronous Webinars (August 19, 2019 – November 15, 2019)
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Group and Individual Projects
  • On-Line Modules including virtual workshops

Participants will attend two on-site residencies in Syracuse, New York, over the course of six-months. All other program study is performed online both within the cohorts and on an individual basis. In addition, Fellows will be supported by coaches and faculty mentors throughout the program.

Pre-Program Preparation:

We will assign 10-15 hours of preliminary assignments and readings, expected to be completed prior to the start of the program. Materials will be distributed to participants during the week of August 5-9, which is one week before the start of the program (August 12-16).


The residencies in Syracuse, New York, are intended to serve as intense and immersive gatherings combining spiritual reflection, case-studies, lectures, guest speakers, peer discussions, and a capstone participant presentation. Residencies will be held on the campuses of both Syracuse University and Le Moyne College:

  • Summer Residency: August 12-August 16, 2019 at Syracuse University
  • Fall Residency: November 18-20, 2019 at Le Moyne College
  • On-site Project Presentation: Mid-January in Syracuse area

Online component:

In order to accommodate the active schedules of all participants, the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Ministry will utilize a significant amount of online instruction. The online component of the Fellowship consists of five (5) modules, ending the week of November 15, 2019. The course features regular engagement between the professor and students with brief webinar lectures and small group discussions, via online discussion and video.

Course Content and Organization

In this module-style program, participating Fellows will explore ways to be both reflective and action-orientated in their faith communities through the lens of their personal and collaborative case study projects.

Fellows will learn innovation through design thinking principles, learning what it feels like to think, behave, and interact in ways that develop and implement creative solutions for their communities. Drawing from Syracuse University and Le Moyne College’s outstanding faculty and community leaders, the Fellows will engage in developing strategies to successfully enable their organizations to innovate and sustain over the course of time.

While the program emphasizes group collaboration, Fellows also engage in guided self-reflection and a unique approach to peer coaching that further their evolving innovation mindsets.

The Ideal Candidate for this Program

The ideal candidates for the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Ministry includes faith-based leaders in central New York. Typically, participants will have over 5 years of experience.

This program is suitable for leaders of Christian churches (parishes, congregations) of any size – not only senior pastors (ministers) in large, flourishing, established churches but also pastoral leaders of small, newly established churches (congregations, parishes).

This is a selective program with a competitive application process. Those interested in participation will be required to submit an application that includes a summary of their “personal leadership challenge” that will serve as the basis for their practicum while in residence. A complete application will include a statement of support from their organization.

Applicants should be prepared and comfortable with engaging in an in-depth spiritual renewal and leadership discernment process in a supportive environment.

Program Costs

Due to the generous funding of the Lilly Endowment Inc., in addition to support provided by Syracuse University and Le Moyne College, this program is free of charge for all selected participants.