Union Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that we have received a five-year $500,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment through their Early Career Pastoral Development Initiative 2013. Union’s program, Vision: Cultivating Prospective Pastoral Imagination, will invite two consecutive cohorts of 10-15 early, mid-career pastors to work with mentors at Union and beyond for a two-year curriculum. Utilizing the particular strengths of Union Seminary, participants will spend a semester each concentrating on new media, religious pluralism, and new economic models. The grant will enable an annual retreat, monthly meetings, and ongoing consultation with program mentors. Through Vision, pastors are able to develop projects that integrate the theological insights of the program in their congregations and local communities, as well as to Union students, the next generation of ecclesial prospectors.

The Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, President and Johnston Family Professor of Religion and Democracy, will direct Vision, and the Rev. Dr. Troy Messenger, Director and Visiting Assistant Professor of Worship, will be the program coordinator. Selection of the first cohort will take place in Spring 2014 with program implementation beginning in Fall 2014.

If you would like to nominate an “early, mid-career pastor” you think would benefit from Vision or are interested yourself in applying, please write to Dr. Messenger at tmessenger@uts.columbia.edu More information will be forthcoming early in the new year.