thriving in church ministries

Thriving in Church Ministries Program

Strengthen your Pastoral Leadership and Spiritual Life

Leading a congregation is both profoundly gratifying and seriously challenging. There may be days you feel like you’re living on a spiritual mountaintop, but there are also long weeks, months, or even years that can feel like you are wandering in a valley, alone and isolated. Where do you go when you hit a low point? How can you move from surviving church ministry to thriving?

Connect with Pastors and Learn New Tools

The Thriving in Church Ministries Program is designed to equip pastors and ministry leaders to thrive in their personal and professional lives, for their sake and the sake of the congregations and communities in which they serve. We focus on personal, professional, and spiritual development in the context of authentic community and mentorship.  When you start this program, you join a community of peers and experienced mentors. Together you will explore tools and discover practices that will allow you to go from surviving to thriving in your ministry.

What to Expect

This ten-month program combines the best in-person gatherings and virtual sessions to enhance accessibility and ensure affordability. Cohorts of 10 to 18 participants meet regularly to learn ways to enhance their wellbeing, grow in emotional and spiritual wholeness, develop plans for long-term thriving. Each member is assigned a personal mentor to walk alongside them throughout the program.

Cohort options include:

  • Virtual + Retreat Cohort, based in Ashland, open to leaders of all traditions and geographic regions
  • Spanish-speaking Hybrid Cohort, based in Cleveland, open to Hispanic and Latinx pastors and ministry leaders
  • *NEW in 2023 – Certificate in Transformational Leadership, a fully virtual, two-year program where participants spend Year 1 in one of our pastors and ministry leader cohorts and in Year 2 are mentored as they lead a cohort of their own.

Spots are limited.  Apply Now.




Our Thriving Church Ministries program functions in three phases, which we call “modules.” Each module builds on the last to create a comprehensive curriculum designed to strengthen your leadership and nourish your spiritual life all in the context of a pastoral community. Learn more about each module below.

Foundations to Well-Being
In this module we address the essential components you need to flourish personally and spiritually as an effective pastor.  You will learn to create conditions for your well-being through engaging with peer groups, practicing authenticity, and connecting with a mentor.  Together, we will explore understanding our core identities in relation to our callings.  We will also address common challenges to well-being, such as conflict, financial constraints, and scheduling pressures.

Tools for Formation
In this module, we will explore what it takes to grow in emotional and spiritual wholeness.  We will look at how these are distinct yet interconnected, and how the leader must be willing to both walk and witness to this in order for those they are leading to follow.  

Preparing for Tomorrow
In this module, we will explore tools and techniques for creating plans for long-term thriving.  Building on what we learned through modern assessment tools and practiced together in covenant community, we will draw upon ancient wisdom and traditional practices to hone personalized plans that can carry you through the years ahead.

Discover How You Can Thrive in Ministry


Kellen B

Lead Pastor-Mentor

Thriving in Church Ministries offers a safe, non-judgmental space for sharing and empowering pastors. The relationships and instruction afforded by the program are an unbeatable combination! I highly recommend it.

Korderro B

Lead Pastor and New Church Planter

The Thriving in Church Ministries cohort gave me new breath and life. I experienced sanctuary and comradery while connecting with other pastors who are like-minded, understand my pain and share my passion.

Renee H

Lead Pastor

My experience in the Thriving in Church Ministries cohort changed my life forever! I am humbled and so very grateful to have participated. The most valuable topics to me were self-care, learning how to have a healthy mindset and gleaning from other seasoned pastors.

Stancy A

Associate Pastor

The Thriving in Church Ministries experience gave me new insight into my leadership style. We experienced in-depth discussions that pastors and leaders need to discover how leadership style impacts relationships.

Norflette S

Lead Pastor

The Thriving in Church Ministries program gave me new friendships, fresh insight and encouragement to continue moving forward in the work of ministry.

Request More Information

We’re here to support you as you follow God’s call on your life. When you complete this form, we will personally reach out to discuss our Thriving Church Ministries program. We’re here to support you as you discern which path of ministry at Ashland Theological Seminary is right for you.