DMin Cohort from Seminary Connection
Terry Shanahan, NE Regional Pastor
Serving in New England has many blessings. Proximity to the highly respected Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS) is one of them A good number of our pastors are GCTS graduates. Each year at our Annual Gathering, the Seminary hosts an Alumni event that is well attended.
In recent years one of the programs offered by the Seminary is the Ockenga Fellows Program. It is administrated by CCCC Pastors David Horn and Jason McConnell. The Ockenga Fellows Program identifies and nurtures high-potential, early career New England pastors to participate in a two-year program consisting of five three-day retreats and one study abroad trip to China. The program helps the pastors better engage the culture of their churches and address the social and ethical changes in the society surrounding them.
The stated objectives of the Fellows program are: first, to gain a deeper understanding of effective pastoral leadership in New England; second, to engage early career pastors with the world’s best civic, cultural and business voices; third, to equip early-career pastors to understand local church idiosyncrasies; fourth, to develop a cohesive cohort committed to serving alongside one another in long-term ministry in New England; and fifth, to stimulate conversations between leaders in the church and leaders outside the church.
The highly selective program is limited to 15 participants at a time and is now in its third cohort. We have had nine CCCC pastors selected to participate. In addition, those who have gone through the program are eligible to pursue advanced standing in the Doctor of Ministry program at the Seminary.
I’m delighted to report that this year three of our young CCCC pastors are enrolled in a Doctor of Ministry cohort which will further equip them in their journey in pastoral ministry in the New England context. To me this speaks volumes about the quality of the next generation pastors that are attracted to and serving in the CCCC.