Journey: A Conference-based Leadership Development Program
Journey seeks to develop leaders who are centered in Jesus Christ for Mennonite congregations. The program is available to people in any conference of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada who are in pastoral and congregational leadership or who are exploring a call to pastoral ministry. Sponsors are Indiana-Michigan and Central District Conferences and the Church Leadership Center of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.
The program is grounded in Anabaptist-Mennonite theology. It offers an Anabaptist perspective, based on Jesus Christ, and interpreted by the work of the Holy Spirit through scripture and the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective.
The program works in cooperation with Mennonite Church institutions that engage in pastoral leadership education and training. It supports and encourages the pursuit of college and seminary training. It uses programs and resources from Mennonite colleges and seminaries. The program is designed for leaders in local churches who would not typically be trained at academic institutions.
The program helps participants identify and develop competencies in specific transformational areas:
- Spiritual disciplines: studies focus on prayer and nurture of the inner spirit.
- Theological and biblical studies: studies focus on developing familiarity with Anabaptist theology and approaches to Bible study.
- Character development: studies explore courage, consistency, love, self-discipline, etc.
- Mentoring and community: studies provide students with strong mentors and help them learn to mentor others, and to pay attention to what it means to live in Christian community.
- Gift development: studies challenge participants to identify and develop their own spiritual gifts and work at developing the call and passion of every congregational member.
- Leadership skills: studies strengthen areas in preaching, teaching, worship leading, worship planning, conflict transformation, leading a group, time management, etc.
- View a PDF with detailed information about Journey.
- View a PDF program design chart that shows how participants progress through Journey.
Journey uses the Leading God's People curriculum. Those who complete the three-year program will receive a Certificate of Completion from Indiana-Michigan or Central District Conference. In addition to individual study of the Leading God's People curriculum, all Journey participants gather together biannually for Weekend Learning Events.
The Cost for Journey is $750 per year per team of two—one mentor and one mentee. Each additional mentee: $375 each per year, with a limit of three mentees for one mentor. Congregations are encouraged to cover or contribute to the costs of the team’s participation. Scholarship funds may be available through your conference office.
Application form (Download the PDF).
Applications should be submitted to the applicant's conference minister's office by May 15 of each year. If the applicant's congregation is not a member of Indiana-Michigan or Central District conferences, applications should be submitted to the Church Leadership Center. Contact information for these organizations is listed below.
Weekend Learning Events
Twice per year all Journey participants gathering for a Weekend Learning Event. Read more about these gatherings here. The next two gatherings will be held on the following dates:
- September 13-15, 2013, at Amigo Centre, near Sturgis, Mich.
- February 21-23, 2014, at AMBS, Elkhart, Ind.
- View the Journey Mentoring Handbook
- View a PDF brochure for Journey.
- Read about the Pastoral Studies Distance Education program, which uses the same curriculum as Journey and gives participants the opportunity to earn up to 15 undergraduate credits.
Please feel free to contact either of the conferences below or the Church Leadership Center for more information about Journey. For more information about the Leading God's People curriculum, contact the Church Leadership Center.
Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference
109 E Clinton Street Suite 100
Goshen, IN 46528
(574) 534-4006 or (800) 288-8486
Central District Conference
1015 Division Street
Goshen, IN 46528
Church Leadership Center
3003 Benham Ave
Elkhart, IN 46517
(574) 296-6225 or (800) 964-2627