COMMUNITAS will bring together a cohort of early career pastors who have completed approximately five to twelve years of full-time ministry from the greater Los Angeles area for a series of retreat-seminars spaced out over a one-year period from January to November 2024. These sessions will utilize Pepperdine faculty and staff who have particular expertise related to the topic under discussion and/or a relationship with the selected business and community leaders from the greater Los Angeles area to engage in direct conversation with these young leaders.
The first meeting is focused on orienting pastors to the program itself, building community among the program participants, and familiarizing participants with concepts related to organizational and community leadership and change. Each session (except the D.C. trip) will begin on a Monday afternoon and end on Wednesday afternoon, with each session devoted to a particular social issue that is important and relevant to the community. The program also includes a 5-day, 4-night trip to Washington, D.C. in May 2024 to examine issues of national and international importance.
Accommodations and Meals
The retreat-seminars will be held at Serra Retreat in Malibu, Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, and Villa Graziadio Executive Center on the Pepperdine Malibu campus.
All participants will have a private room (some Serra Retreat rooms have shared bathrooms). All session meals and accommodations and travel to Washington D.C. are free of charge*, thanks to a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.
*COMMUNITAS is funded by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. All lodging, meals, and the program itself can be offered without charge to pastors selected to participate. Given the cost of the program (estimated at $15,500 per person) and the limited number of available awards, we do ask that all candidates only apply if they can commit to attending every session of the program.
As you prepare your application materials, keep in mind that we are looking for pastors serving in congregational ministry in the greater Los Angeles area, who demonstrate confidence, optimism, and security in their pastoral role, and who have strong potential for the next two or three decades of Christian ministry. Applicants should have approximately five to fifteen years experience in full-time, congregational ministry. We are also looking for applicants who have developed a strong theological foundation for their ministry, whether through pursuing an M.Div. degree or continuing education, or through such avenues as an apprenticeship or close mentoring relationships.
The criteria for selection will include vocational clarity, theological acuity necessary to interpret their experiences in the program in light of the biblical narrative, appropriate balance of confidence and ability, good public speaking and preaching, a healthy ego necessary for creativity, integrity, and humility, and an ability to listen to and communicate with a diverse group of people from different social and theological backgrounds for the sake of the common good.
**We ask that applicants review the schedule above before applying to ensure that they are fully available for all sessions. We also encourage applicants to seek approval from church leadership before applying. All admitted participants will be required to obtain a signed commitment from church leadership demonstrating support for full participation.**
If you would like to recommend a pastor for this or future cohorts, click HERE. Cohort participants are chosen based on criteria outlined in Characteristics of a Successful Applicant.
See the Cohort Participants page for information on past cohort members and program staff.