Integrity Circles

Small green sprout growing from the middle of an old tree stump
Get the support you need to embrace the transitions in your life.

Ministry Integrity Circles are free to participants who begin in the 2020–21 year thanks to the generosity of the Lilly Endowment and the Thriving in Ministry grant!

Learn and grow with Integrity Circles

  • Enhance your self-awareness, curiosity and intercultural competence
  • Find clarity about your role in your own context
  • Build your community of supportive peers and mentors
  • Experience the joy of the work of reconciliation

Integrity Circles are designed for pastors and leaders going through significant transitions. Whether these transitions are brought on by personal, relational, cultural or structural upheaval, you’ll find ways to reimagine your work in relation to these shifts.

You will join a circle of six to eight of your peers for guided conversation and reflection by two experienced consultants. In your time together, you will share in a confidential environment about the specific leadership challenges you are facing, including troubling situations and ethical dilemmas as well as theological, spiritual and moral questions.

By coming together, your peer group will reflect on each of your unique situations from within a supportive environment. Your consultants and peers will help equip you with the skills of authentic communication, intercultural competence, conflict transformation and systems analysis to assist in your time of transition.

Through meeting and sharing together with peers, you will build relationships and gain support from others who are also navigating important life transitions. Your circle will be led by two thoughtful consultants—one with expertise in pastoral leadership and one with expertise in intercultural competence—to help you gain the needed insight and skills to navigate in your particular setting.

Read more about our consultants >>

Ministry Integrity Circles

As part of Ministry Integrity Circles, you will write reports on the specific ministry transitions and challenges you are facing. Each report will include a description of a ministry encounter or event and a personal reflection on the experience in order to develop better self-awareness. The reports will also include a theological reflection to frame the experience theologically and biblically, as well as discernment of possible follow-up actions or attitude shifts.

Pastors will share these reports with each other and the consultants during the gatherings. Through the sharing and conversations, pastors will gain greater awareness of what barriers stand between them and wholeness, insight into situations of brokenness around them, and clarity about how to take the next steps toward healing and restoration for themselves and the congregations they lead. 

A successful applicant for this program will:

  • be a pastor in congregational setting
  • have more than four (4) years of pastorate experience
  • have a Master’s degree in theology or similar field
  • be going through a significant transition

Pastors are welcome to apply even if they do not meet all of the criteria. Ministry Integrity Circle staff can make exceptions on a case-by-case basis. If there are more applications than spaces available, staff will make acceptance decisions based on the additional following considerations: 

  • Diversity of the group including race, gender, age, etc. 
  • Immediacy of a participant's transition(s)
  • Similarity of a participant's transition(s) to others in the group

Ministry Integrity Circles will meet four times over the course of 12 months, with each event beginning at noon on Monday and ending at noon on Tuesday. Two cohorts of Ministry Integrity Circles will run each year with one cohort beginning in the fall and one cohort beginning in the spring. 

Ministry Integrity Circles Fall 2019 Cohort

  • First three gatherings at Camp Friedenswald in Cassopolis, Mich. will be Nov. 11-12, 2019; Feb. 17-18, 2020; and April 20-21, 2020
  • Final gathering for the Fall 2019 Cohort will be held August 10-11, 2020 on-campus at AMBS

Ministry Integrity Circles Spring 2020 Cohort

  • The four gatherings will be on Mar. 16-17, 2020; June 15-16, 2020; Oct. 5-6, 2020; and Jan. 11-12, 2021
  • Location for all the Spring 2020 Cohort gatherings is still to be determined

Due to an overwhelming interest in Ministry Integrity Circles, we have received more applications for the Fall 2019 and the Spring 2020 cohorts than there are spots available. Registration for Fall 2019 and the Spring 2020 cohorts are now closed.

Registration will re-open in late spring for those who wish to apply for the Fall of 2020. Thank you for understanding.

Thanks to the generosity of the Lilly Endowment and the Thriving in Ministry grant, there is no cost to Ministry Integrity Circle participants who enroll in 2019 or 2020. Travel, lodging and meals are also included. Read more about the grant.

Registration for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 is now closed.

If you would like to learn more about applying, please email Julia Schmidt, Program Administrator, at [email protected] or call 574-296-6245.

Leadership Integrity Circles

Leadership Integrity Circles are currently under development for business and other community leaders. If you would like to learn more about what these will include, please email Julia Schmidt, Program Administrator, at [email protected] or call 574-296-6245.

Learn more

Have Questions? Email Julia Schmidt, Program Administrator, at [email protected] or call 574-296-6245.