The Moses Project
The mission of The Moses Project is to give rural pastors a vision of ministry that will help them thrive in congregational leadership and in turn, enhance the vitality of the congregations they serve. This program is designed to help them build relationships with and learn from experienced clergy who will guide them through challenges at critical, transitional phases in their early ministerial career. Through a distinct and exceptional professional development program, pastors will receive critical support, develop innovative strategies, and engage in ongoing learning and opportunities for renewal. They will build the very network that will provide them and those they serve with vitality.
The Moses Project is funded by the Thriving in Ministry Initiative of the Lilly Endowment Inc., housed at Grand View University, and in collaboration with the Southeastern and Western Iowa Synods of the ELCA.
Learn more at www.mosesproject.org
We are now accepting applications for our 2024-25 cohort. This program is expected to fill quickly, so please do not hesitate to apply!
What to Expect as a Part of The Moses Project
There are four main goals for clergy who are a part of The Moses Project. Pastors will:
- Rediscover their call after having already been called.
- Learn to manage the fit and misfit between them and their congregation.
- Build uplifting connections with other clergy.
- Receive mentorship relevant to their ministry.
Tentative On-Site Dates in Des Moines, IA for the 2024-25 Cohort
Cohort Kick-Off: August 5-7, 2024
The first event focuses on building community, rediscovering your call to ministry, and orienting to the program.
January Retreat: January 6-8, 2025
The January retreat is a time to reconnect, unplug, relax, and focus on wellness.
End of Program Celebration: May 5-6, 2025
A chance for you to celebrate your experience in The Moses Project and share what you’ve learned with others.
Each module will take four weeks and is focused on an idea linked to pastors thriving in rural ministry. Although none of these topics will be covered exhaustively in the Moses Project, we hope that each of them would spark curiosity and spur creativity for you to thrive in ministry. Modules may look different from month to month, but we expect approximately three hours a week necessary to engage the Moses Project outside of the on-site times. Possible activities include engaging resources, discussion with cohort members, one-on-one mentorship and Q&A with exemplars in rural ministry.
|Module 1: Rediscovering Your Call
This module is created to help you recapture the vision that got you into ministry. We will re-examine the traditional language of internal and external call to help you see your place in what God is doing.
|Module 2: Seminary Didn’t Prepare Me for This: Leadership and Adaptation
Communities and culture are changing. This module is designed to help you explore cultural shifts, how to be a humble learner, and navigate the leadership challenges for the church in a post-Christendom world.
|Module 3: Controversial Topics and the Pulpit
In this module, we discuss the role of the church and the pastor in addressing controversial issues of public concern. We’ll explore how the church can foster discussion using nonpartisan, biblically centered approaches.
|Module 4: The Gravity of Joy
Ministry can have hard days. What does joy in ministry look like? For this module, we will explore definitions of joy and practical ways we can experience more if it while acknowledging the realities of ministry in rural life.
|Module 5: Satisfaction and Sustainability
When you answered the call to ministry, did you envision yourself serving a call in a rural church? In this module, we’ll reflect on the joys and stresses of serving in a rural context and connect them to a sustainable vision for ministry.
|Module 6: Wellness
For the month of January we will slow down and examine your spiritual, social, interpersonal, emotional, physical, financial, vocational and intellectual well-being.
|Module 7: Virtuous Cycles, Strategy, and Mission
Is your church in a virtuous or a vicious cycle? This module explores how factors beyond our control impact churches and encourage us to consider strategies and visioning to create a new cycle.
|Module 8: Think Like a Farmer: Traditioned Innovation
In this module, we’ll ask ourselves to think like farmers: to innovate, to lead change, and to imagine how to move the heritage of your congregation forward to face present and future challenges and opportunities.
|Module 9: Beyond the Jordan
After having experienced the whole Moses Project, it's time for you to wade into areas that matter to you and chart the course for your next steps in ministry.