Thriving in Ministry

Develop insight, wisdom and resilience for leadership. (Re)imagine your call to lead your congregations confidently, joyfully and non-anxiously in ministries of reconciliation.

The Thriving in Ministry programs encourage you to explore your own self-awareness, curiosity and intercultural competence as a pastor. The programs will help you develop relationships of support with experienced clergy who will serve as role models and exemplars. You’ll experience clarity in your role, no matter what phase of ministry you are in.

Receive support through leadership challenges at critical moments in your ministerial careers and learn how to thrive in congregational leadership. To be effective, you must be spiritually and emotionally grounded as a non-anxious leader who is equipped with the skills of authentic communication, intercultural competence, conflict transformation and systems analysis. The Thriving in Ministry programs equip you with the skills needed to successfully manage transitions in your ministries and enhance the vitality of the congregations you serve.

Two unique programs

Transition to Leadership

Transition to Leadership supports you as you transition from seminary to ministry. This program guides you as a new pastor over a period of two years as you move into a ministry role following completion of your Master of Divinity degree.

Learn more about Transition to Leadership >>

Ministry Integrity Circles

Ministry Integrity Circles address ministry transitions brought on by personal, relational, cultural or structural upheaval specific to particular ministry settings. As experienced pastors, you will be guided — in peer groups under the supervision of consultants with expertise in pastoral leadership and intercultural competence — to reimagine your ministries in light of these shifts.

Learn more about Ministry Integrity Circles >>


In the fall of 2018, Lilly Endowment awarded the AMBS Church Leadership Center (CLC) a grant from its Thriving in Ministry Initiative 2018. The primary aim of this Lilly Endowment initiative is to help pastors thrive in congregational leadership and enhance the vitality of the congregations they serve.

The approved CLC proposal includes two programs to help pastors at crucial times in their ministry: when new pastors transition from seminary to ministry and when established pastors face times of transition due to upheaval. The CLC uses this grant for the Transition to Leadership and Integrity Circles programs which both began in fall 2019.

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