Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel

Apply Today: Deadline is January 20, 2017!

College of Pastoral Leadership FAQ

What is the Martin Luther King Jr. College of Pastoral Leadership?
The Martin Luther King Jr. College of Pastoral Leadership (CPL) is the newest program of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel that advances its mission to develop ambassadors of peace for the Beloved World Community. Focused on the special needs of early career pastors, CPL builds on the Chapel’s 37-year, internationally recognized legacy of ecumenical spiritual and vocational education to provide a yearlong professional development program for up-and-coming church leaders. It is funded by a four-year, $500,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc. for its 2013 Early Career Pastoral Leadership Development Initiative.

How does CPL fit with the Chapel’s other programming?
CPL is a natural extension and progression of the Chapel’s mission and vision to develop a corps of ambassadors who – having been taught the philosophies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – are captivated by the possibility of the Beloved Community and inspired to work to realize King’s dream of a world in which all people embody their spiritual magnificence and live together in peace. To carry forth its work, CPL is leveraging several existing Chapel programs that already are engaged in developing Beloved World Community ambassadors: the Morehouse College Chapel Assistants; the College of Ministers and Laity; the Gandhi-King-Ikeda Community Builders Prize and Award; and the Lilly-funded Program for the Theological Exploration of Vocation.

What is CPL’s philosophy and approach to pastoral leadership development?
CPL views the practice of ministry as an expression of the effect of what a minister does and who a minster is on the lives of people. This expression is not simply a role a pastoral leader might fill, but a set of functions a pastoral leader must perform within and beyond his/her church role. These functions include Guarantor of Continuity, Celebrator of Change, Negotiator of Structure, Facilitator of Meaning, Practitioner of Cosmopolitan Virtue-Ethics, and Co-Creator of the Beloved World Community. [1] CPL offers a cyclical model of ministerial mentoring that sensitizes and supports early career pastors in carrying out these crucial functions as leaders in our 21st century global society.
[1] University of Melbourne Professor Ronald R. Lee developed the first four ministry paradigms in his article “Practice of Ministry,” Journal of Pastoral Care, 1972. The fifth and sixth paradigms were developed and added by Lawrence Edward Carter Sr., dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel.

How does CPL work?
CPL is intergenerational, interdisciplinary, international, interfaith and interpersonal. An early career pastor – someone who has served as a senior pastor or church leader for three to eight years – is mentored by seasoned pastors with 15 or more years of ministerial leadership experience. Each early career pastor is matched with and mentors an aspiring pastoral leader – a current Morehouse College Chapel Assistant. Over 12 months, the early career pastors and aspiring ministers undertake various career development opportunities, including interacting with business, civic and civil society leaders to explore and share different views and strategies to address a variety of global issues.

What are CPL’s major program elements?
CPL’s programming combines theoretical with practical in-person and distance teaching and learning. The curriculum (readings, presentations and discussions) is based on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s World House ideas/ideals of ethics, nonviolence, service and harmony. The activities include four required residential assemblies at Morehouse; one international immersion experience; and one summer internship for the Chapel Assistants at the early career pastors’ churches.

What are the financial arrangements for CPL?
Thanks to support from the Lilly Endowment Inc., CPL is offered at no financial cost to the participating early career pastors or their congregations. CPL will cover all expenses for domestic and international travel, room and board, and planned activities for the program.  In exchange, the pastors are obligated to full participation in the CPL for 12 months, including attendance at all sessions.

What does CPL hope to achieve?
The goal of the College of Pastoral Leadership is to help early career pastors develop:
• compassionate self-reflection and transformation
• affirmative and responsible relationships with fellow clergy
• supportive and accountable relationships with business and community leaders
• an informed understanding of the myriad leadership challenges senior pastors face
• a comprehensive and balanced strategy to address these challenges
• nuanced perspectives foundational to informed decision making and right action and
• an embracing of their identity as global citizens and ambassadors of peace.

What are the qualifications for early career pastors to participate in CPL?
CPL will accept a total of 24 early career pastors from a national pool of applicants – eight for the 2015-2016 cohort (pilot); eight for the 2016-2017 cohort; and eight for the 2017-2018 cohort. To be eligible for consideration, applicants must hold a graduate theological degree from an institution accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and have three to eight years of experience as a senior pastor or church leader. In addition, applicants must commit to full participation in the CPL for the full year of the program and not be currently enrolled in an academic degree program. Three letters of recommendation are also required – one each from a church officer who can endorse the pastor’s involvement in the program, a clergy colleague or mentor, and an academic professor or advisor. Apply today! Deadline extended to January 20, 2017.