We care deeply about our pastors.
The conference staff provides coaching, training seminars, and timely resources for our pastors and other ministry personnel. In addition we provide support for our clergy families when needed.
We want to have pastors who are delighted with God and cannot wait to share this delight with their congregations. Our pastors are continually upheld in prayer. We are committed to help them be the faithful spiritual leaders that God has called them to be.
Ministry Development Network
The Covenant church works closely with the Ministry Development Network. Their mission is to "care for persons in ministry." The counselors at Ministry Development Network provide a variety of development programs that can help an individual pastor understand and develop their call to ministry. Pastors contact the Superintendent for a referral. For more information, visit www.midwestministry.org.
Sustaining Pastoral Excellence
The Sustaining Pastoral Excellence initiative exists to connect pastor, missionaries and chaplains in the Evangelical Covenant Church with the resources necessary to sustain them throughout their ministerial journey.
We define Pastoral Excellence as, "a grace-filled, relational journey that involves holistic Christ-centered character development, lifelong, vocational and Biblical formation, and regular occasions of renewal and re-visioning that sustain healthy enduring ministry."
This program provides grants in the areas of: Character, Competence and Constancy.
Grants are available to Covenant ministers with at least two years of experience and who are currently active in full-time pastoral, chaplaincy or mission ministry through the Evangelical Covenant Church. In addition, ministers must hold one of the following Covenant credentials:
- Ordained to Word and Sacrament
- Ordained to Specialized Ministry
- Commissioned Staff Minister
- Consecrated Missionary
- Ministry License
- World Mission License
All ministerial association dues must be current for the last two years.
This initiative is made possible through generous grants provided by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. and financial support from The Covenant Ministerial Association, Regional Conferences and individual donors. Contact SPE Director Dan Pietrzyk for more information.
"How goes your walk with Christ?" "Are you yet alive in Christ?" These are questions that have been with our denomination since its founding. Our seminary, North Park, has a Center for Spiritual Direction where pastors can receive training. We have several certified Spiritual Directors in the Northwest Conference that are available to minister to our pastors, including:
- Alan Johnson, Karmel Covenant in Princeton
- Dawn Burnett, Prairie Hills Covenant, Sioux Falls, SD
- Jan Bros, Abbey Way, Minneapolis
- Jim Oberg, Owatonna
- Ted Nordlund, Minneapolis
- Neil Bonkoski
- Renee Franzen
Call the NWC office, or email Renee Franzen, for more information. SPE grants are available to help you begin your journey with a Spiritual Director.
The NWC and the denomination are committed to providing spiritual and emotional support to our pastors. Our conference staff is available to listen, counsel and encourage our pastors. We assist pastors with issues of insurance and compensation, as well as provide guidance to them and our congregations in the placement process. The conference Superintendent is a member of the Denominational Pastoral Relations Committee.
We are pleased to refer pastors to the North Central Ministry Development Center.
The following texts are suggested reading for our pastors. The list is only suggestive of the many titles that are available. These authors provide challenge and encouragement to all who are followers of our Lord
- "Pastor" by William Willimon
- "Beyond Doubt" by Cornelius Plantinga
- "Calling and Character" by William Willimon
- "The Undertaker" by Thomas Lynch
- "The Unnecessary Pastor" by Eugene Peterson
- "Leaving Ruin" by Jeff Berryman
- "Mystery and Manners" by Flannery O'Connor
- "Otherwise" by Jane Kenyon
- "The Hole In Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns
- "The Missional Leader" by Roxburgh & Romanuk
- "Amusing Ourselves To Death" by Neil Postman
- "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" by Annie Dillard
- "Finishing Well" by Bob Buford
- "Not The Way it's Supposed to Be" by Cornelius Plantinga
- "Simply Christian" by N.T. Wright
- "The Suffering of God" by Terrance Fretheim
- "The Undoing of Death" by Fleming Rutledge