Missional Leadership Cohort for Episcopal Clergy 2014-2016

Leaders across churches today face massive challenges on two fronts: understanding a pluralist culture that no longer supports Christian identity and practice; and leading faith communities through processes of learning, adaptation and innovation in mission. Meaningful engagement with complex challenges like these functions best in communities of peers who mutually encourage, support, challenge and deepen one another, while being held accountable to a disciplined structure of action/reflection under the guidance of experienced mentors and coaches.

The Missional Leadership Cohort is a structured learning community that offers teaching, mentorship and accountability for church leaders in partnership with committed peers and faculty and staff. It offers the promise of intensive, transformational leadership development for a missionary church with flexibility and accommodation for the demands facing full-time, working clergy.


The cohort participants (capped at 12) commit to an 18-month learning  journey. There are four in-person gatherings of three to four days each,  interspersed with reading and online engagement. Participants compile  a portfolio of artifacts over the course of the program that showcase  their learning and growth. This may include reflection papers, sermons,  congregational curricula, a journal, surveys, interview or focus group  transcripts and analysis, worship bulletins, websites, videos and other media.


The 2014-16 Missional Cohort Program for Episcopal Clergy seeks ordained leaders who have established basic pastoral competence yet hold promise for outstanding leadership in the church, with a significant time horizon in ministry ahead of them. Cohort candidates will therefore:

  • Possess at least three years of ministry experience following seminary;
  • Be engaged in ministry full time;
  • Be willing to take risks—personally and in their contexts—to learn and innovate in mission;
  • Commit to participating in four, three- or four-day retreats and an estimated average of two to four hours per week of experimentation, study and peer engagement outside of the retreats for the life of the 18-month program.

Candidates from minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply. Because there are many more qualified candidates than can be accommodated in the program, the cohort will be chosen in a manner that seeks to promote diversity.

Deadline: Application must be received by June 1, 2014.


Thanks to a generous grant from the Hamilton and Mildred Kellogg Charitable Trust, the only cost for participants will be their own travel to the meetings. Tuition, lodging, food and supplies will be covered by the grant.

Program Leaders

Program Director: Dwight Zscheile, Ph.D., is an Episcopal priest, professor of congregational mission and leadership at Luther Seminary and associate priest at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul, Minn. His books include “People of the Way: Renewing Episcopal Identity” (Morehouse 2012); “The Missional Church in Perspective” (with Craig Van Gelder, Baker Academic, 2011); and “The Agile Church: Spirit-Led Innovation in an Uncertain Age” (Church Publishing, forthcoming).


Associate Director: Daniel Anderson
, Ph.D., has served ELCA congregations in Oregon and Minnesota as a pastor and musician. He teaches in the D.Min. programs in congregational mission and leadership and biblical preaching at Luther Seminary. He is the executive director of the Minnesota Consortium of Theological Schools, an adjunct professor and a trained spiritual director.


Guest Faculty: Stephanie Spellers is canon for missional vitality in the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island and the author of “Radical Welcome” (Church Publishing, 2006) and co-editor of “Ancient Faith, Future Mission” (Church Publishing, 2010).

Application and Program Details

Get more information about the program in a PDF.

Download an application form to be mailed.

Apply online.

If you have any questions, please contact kairos@luthersem.edu.