Students at commencement

CPL Site List

Important note: The following listing includes Christian Public Leader mentor sites for Master of Divinity (M.Div.) students from Fall 2014. New sites for Fall 2015 will be posted in mid-August.

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Living Word Lutheran Church

Address:PO Box 412 2315 FM 967

Student Information

What kind of Christian Public Leader student would be right for you:We are an RIC congregation and happy to have a GLBT student; we are in TX so may be helpful for DL students. We intend to host 1 student currently and can accept 1 more.
How many students have you worked with in the past:2
How many rising students or seminarians do you work with currently:0
For this coming semester, what is the maximum number of students with whom you could work:1
What is the optimal length of learning for students working with you:2 semesters
Why would this length of time be best:we can accommodate 1 or 2 semesters; summer is difficult

Site Information

Site keywords:GLBT/RIC outreach; missional mindset; local service and relationship projects; families with young children; regional ministry (7+ ZIP codes)
What is your congregation or nonprofit organization all about:Our primary focus for ministry is providing food for people (donations of food and cash for food pantry, CROP walk) and reaching out to GLBT; we also have lively worship, interesting Bible study, and parent & child Sunday school.
Please tell us a bit about your site:“Living in God’s grace, caring for ALL people, sharing God’s love” is our mission statement, and we describe ourselves as a progressive congregation that focuses on God's love for all people, and how we partner to do God's work in the world. Currently our leaders are working on a long-range plan for ministry and participating in a synod initiative to become better acquainted networked with our communities in real-life ways.
Please tell us what a student can learn at your site:Living Word is a joy-filled congregation that likes spending time with one another, especially in service to others. We are open to a variety of voices and perspectives at and leading worship, at Bible study, at coffee time. Our commitment to learning more about God, ourselves, and the community is a strength, as we pursue deeper engagement with Christ through service, worship, Bible study, conversation, and prayer together. We enjoy Biblical storytelling for worship and as a spiritual practice; worship is traditional (liturgical), varied (we use many different styles and liturgies) and lively (we have a 9-piece band, about 20% of our worship attendance). We are a small but solid and viable ministry in one of the fastest growing counties in the US. We continue to be challenged by our location/facility and the population growth around us, and actively engage those questions with hope and expectation from the Spirit.

Mentor Information: Lori Ruge-Jones

Current position:pastor
Please tell us a little bit about yourself as a Christian public leader:I graduated from LNTS 1993 and was ordained the following spring. I am currently in a DMin program at Austin Seminary with a concentration in Bible. I am a Biblical storyteller, and attend that conference annually; and participate in a spiritual retreat with 4 other colleagues each year. I have been solo, part time pastor here for 8 years. My role as faith leader is to walk with people into deeper engagement with God and world according to baptismal covenant, and to be public face and voice of this ministry. My ethics are shaped by looking at the realities of the world through the lens of scripture, and by my own passion for pursuing justice for marginalized people.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself as a mentor of students:I am a collaborative person and not afraid to share power. I like to give people time and space to consider options, needs, and gifts, and make choices based on reflection, and to empower them to share their gifts and own their leadership. As public leaders, we have opportunity to model behaviors and reflect values, not imposing them on others but inviting them into relationship and conversation. I prefer to be a supervisor who draws out discoveries rather than being too prescriptive, and I have high expectations for learners to do well, be reliable, and use their gifts to develop their own self confidence and pastoral identity in a safe, learning environment.