Friday, April 28, 2017

Duke Divinity School has received a $80,000 grant from the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry’s Young Clergy Initiative (YCI) to help develop new leaders for the church.

The goal of the YCI is to increase the number of young clergy in the United Methodist Church by preparing and nurturing clergy for lifelong transformational ministry. The Divinity School’s grant is intended to help develop leadership for the black church within the UMC.

The grant will help identify candidates and support them through a variety of formational opportunities, including mentorships and funded field education. Field education opportunities will include placements across the U.S. with gifted, experienced black pastors in order to forge strong mentoring relationships and community.

Said Rev. Rhonda Parker, senior director of ministerial formation and student life, “This grant will help identify and prepare young black clergy who are committed to a lifetime of ministry in The United Methodist Church in response to the Gospel's ongoing work of reconciliation. It will connect our student body with resources within and beyond the Divinity School by drawing on the strengths of our connectional church and our common mission to transform the world with the love of Jesus Christ.”

The grant will also support the attendance of each seminarian and their mentoring pastor at the Convocation for Pastors of Black Churches. Internships funded by this program will begin during the 2017-18 academic year.