Clergy Programs

Thriving in Ministry logo

Thriving in Ministry

Thriving in Ministry logo

Welcome to the MCC’s Thriving in Ministry Page! MCC was blessed to receive a sizeable grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. in 2018 with a focus to assist Pastors and Clergy to Thrive in their Ministry.  The grant spans five years and we want to ensure that we have connected and supported ALL U.S. based Pastors with our programming.  

Our main theme is Mentoring.  Pastors have often felt disconnected, and we want to create an opportunity for them to reconnect and develop deep rooted connections with their colleagues.  

We have also created additional programming to support all our U.S. based Pastors with Respite Support and Ministry Support Circles. 

Please reach out to the Thriving in Ministry Program Manager at  She can answer all your questions regarding how to become a part and a recipient of the Thriving in Ministry Program.  


Frequently Asked Questions

MCC’s Thriving in Ministry Program

Frequently Asked Questions

 MCC was awarded a grant of over $400,000 dollars from the Lilly Endowment to fund a program to assist Clergy and Pastoral leaders to Thrive in Ministry.

What is the focus of the Thriving in Ministry program?

The focus of the program is to support clergy and pastoral leaders, particularly those who are experiencing transition. Whether the transition personal or professional.

How will this program be accomplished?

Mentoring is the primary focus of the program. We will train Mentors and connect them with a mentee.

The Program Manager will offer ongoing support for the mentoring relationships for one year after a retreat.

Can I be a Mentor and a Mentee?

Absolutely, you can fulfill both roles. However, it is all dependent on the amount of time you have available and may only want to participate through one cohort time frame (one year) at a time. Many of us have strengths in one area and could use some wisdom from others to navigate something we aren’t quite as knowledgeable in.

Does my Mentor need to be an MCC Clergy person?

No. Part of the design of our grant is to encourage mentoring relationships with experienced clergy who are our ecumenical partners. MCC Clergy may also apply to be mentors.

Is there an application process?

Yes, there is one application, and it is on the site for you to download.

If I apply either as a Mentor or Mentee am I automatically selected?

All are welcome to participate in the programming. However, there is limited space for mentors and mentees per retreat.

Will I be able to get continuing education credit for participating in the Thriving in Ministry Program?

Yes. MCC clergy who participate will receive CEU credit in the year they participate in the initial training.

How will my church benefit from this program?

When your ministry thrives due to connections with others, it will reflect in your renewed energy to focus more fully on your ministry and ultimately serve your congregation.

Will I or my church have to pay for this program?

No. The grant covers all fees associated with the training.

Why is this money for US based Clergy and Pastoral Leaders only?

Clergy and congregations in the United States is the focus of the Lilly Endowment’s Thriving in Ministry grant initiative, however we are working on ways to make the grant programming sustainable pass the term of the grant. 

Updated 02/22/21

Where can I get more information on the Thriving in Ministry Program?

Contact Program Manager at

Are there other programs that are sponsored by the Thriving in Ministry Program?

Yes, the TiM program also offers respite support and Ministry Support Circles.

For more information on all of the programming for U.S. based Pastors, please contact the Program Manager at

Apply for Thriving in Ministry

Click the button below to access the Thriving in Ministry application form in our Resource Bank Google Drive.

Garner Institute

Garner institute logo

The Darlene Garner Institute for Latin American Leadership was established to provide theological training to  Spanish and Portuguese speaking people who are in formation and discerning a call to ordained or lay ministry.

The Garner Institute will develop new experiences that are responsive to the multi-faceted challenges that are faced in the formation of leaders for lay and pastoral work and the development of congregations in Ibero-America. The proposed approach to leadership development would apply equally to those in the Americas, Spain, Portugal, and other parts of the world. The geographic dispersion, varied economic situations, and systems of discrimination against LGBT people make it imperative that the denomination develop its own strategy of leadership development. The focus of the Garner Institute will include strong education and formation that will help MCC to gain a new understanding of itself and of its mission in Latin America.

In acknowledgement of the diverse needs of pastoral and activist work in the Spanish-Portuguese speaking world, the Garner Institute has these purposes: 

  1. Education and formation of lay leaders, people seeking to become ordained pastors and ordained clergy from Spanish and Portuguese speaking communities through a certification program that has the goal of supporting the MCC mission and vision/aspirations in those places where there is a pastoral and activist presence and need. 
  2. Academic investigation that has the purpose of convening professional academics from various countries so that they can bring together their knowledge in order to facilitate the intellectual development that is appropriate for the different realities and as well as identify those elements that will be shared in common by the students and leaders.

For more information about the Garner Institute, please contact the Vocational Leadership Coordinator at

MCC Spiritual Direction Network

Because we affirm the importance of the individual’s spiritual journey and formation, the MCC Spiritual Direction Network has been formed to bring emphasis to the ministry of Spiritual Direction within MCC. Further, the Network will provide information and guidance to MCC’ers worldwide about the nature and purpose of Spiritual Direction. This Network will bring attention to the Contemplative nature of Spiritual Formation making it a perfect companion for other resources available in MCC. 

Beyond the provision of information and emphasis, the Spiritual Direction Network will serve as a referral source for anyone seeking information about Spiritual Directors who have demonstrated a passion to work from an inclusive perspective. Additionally, because the cost of traditional Spiritual Direction is often beyond the reach of Seminarians, People in formation, and Clergy in transitional or small church situations, the Network is seeking to ensure a pool of Spiritual Directors who are committed to making Spiritual Direction available for all who desire it. Finally, the Spiritual Direction Network will serve as a supportive arena for Spiritual Directors within MCC by providing for open discussion, and resources for continuing education and professional development.

For more information about the network, please contact The Vocational Leadership Team is excited to add this ministry to the other resources that have been made available for all MCC’ers worldwide.

What Is Spiritual Direction?

The Process of Spiritual Direction Spiritual direction, sometimes referred to as spiritual guidance, spiritual companionship or spiritual friendship, is an ongoing relationship in which one person (the directee), wishes to spend some intentional time being attentive...
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