Peer cohorts for pastors in New England and Long Island


Thriving in Ministry in New England offers 3-year learning cohorts made up of pastors in particular stages of ministry led by experienced mentors. Each peer cohort is a structured community focused on facilitating learning and growth in the following areas (as outlined in the book Resilient Ministry): spiritual formation, self-care, emotional intelligence, cultural intelligence, marriage & family, and leadership & management.  

The aim is that these cohorts will result in increased thriving for pastors in their setting. A secondary goal is that through that pastoral thriving the vitality of their congregations will grow in health for the purpose of glorifying God and furthering His kingdom. 

Descriptions of the 5 Cohort Areas of Focus

1)    Spiritual Formation :: “Pastors can become so caught up in doing church work that they fail to do the work of the church – which begins by abiding in Christ (John 15:4).” Resilient Ministry p. 249

We hope that in your cohort you will be encouraged and equipped in the process of deepening your own relationship with the Lord. Guidance and encouragement will be a regular part of the life of the cohorts. 

2)    Self-Care :: “Taking care of oneself requires conceding that we are finite human beings with limits. The ‘big theme’ of this idea is recognizing we are whole creatures with physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual needs.” RM p. 250

 We hope you will be encouraged and equipped to attend to the social, emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, as well as the vocational aspects of your life; setting up patterns that will promote health in all of those areas. 

 3)    Emotional and Cultural Intelligence :: “How easy it is to assume that our perception of reality is the only way to look at things. We need to acknowledge that our understandings of reality and our corresponding feelings are limited. We need to put ourselves in positions of learning.” RM p. 250

The cohort member will be encouraged to develop their own emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence can be described as the ability to proactively manage one’s own emotions and appropriately respond to the emotions of others. The cohort member also will be encouraged and equipped to develop their own cultural intelligence. Cultural intelligence is the ability to function effectively across various cultural contexts. 

 4)    Marriage and Family :: “This theme focuses on maintaining spiritual and relational health with one’s spouse and children. …We made covenant vows to God regarding our spouse and children that will, at times, conflict with our work and vice versa.” RM p. 250

The cohort member will be encouraged and equipped to work with their spouses, if married, to find a healthy balance between marriage/family and ministry. 

 5)    Leadership and Management :: 1) pastors must embrace L&M as vital parts of their calling. 2) Pastors must beware the temptation to be the “hero leader” in the congregation.

The cohort member will reflect on who they are as a leader and learn better what it is that they are leading.

Current Cohort Offerings

We currently offer cohorts for pastors in specific stages of ministry transition or particular ministry contexts:

First 5 Years - members are establishing pastoral identity during the transition from training to ministry 

Mid-Career Ministry Practitionersmembers are pastors and ministry leaders navigating various transitions in their vocational and personal lives 

Final 5 Years members are relinquishing or re-creating a pastoral identity during the transition to retirement from parish ministry  

Urbanmembers are working in and experiencing the challenges of an urban setting 

Womenmembers are women in ministry in various contexts 

Bivocational - members are navigating multiple worlds 

Hispanicmembers are Spanish speaking in various contexts 

For more information or to inquire about applying for one of our cohorts, please contact Kate Ortiz.