As such, we aspire to serve those who are in a transitional stage, moving from “aspiring” to “active” preachers, setting the stage for long-term growth in preaching ministry. We recognize that those graduating from seminaries and other institutions for theological education graduate with few courses devoted to preaching, and that the week-to-week work of preaching requires significant labor that is disproportionate to that education.
Seminaries cannot teach everything graduating students need to know about preaching, and those entering preaching ministries have few support structures for their specific preaching needs amidst increasing ministry demands. We seek to “bridge” that gap with continuing education, fostering supportive networks, encouragement, and resources.
The Bridge for Early Career Preachers is funded by a generous grant from The Lilly Endowment’s Compelling Preaching Initiative.
Each year, the Bridge will form a 24-person cohort of those who are in their first seven years of congregational ministry and who are preaching at least a third of the opportunities in their ministry setting. Cohorts will engage in the following: