October 3, 2017
By Aaron Weaver
ATLANTA — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship invites applicants to join the fourth two-year cohort of CBF Fellows.
CBF Fellows are clergy who are committed to life-long congregational ministry as their vocational calling. They are clergy who have graduated (or will graduate) from an accredited seminary or divinity school within the past five years, and are members of CBF churches or have been participants in the life of the Fellowship.
Josh Speight, CBF’s manager of leadership development and director of CBF Fellows, encourages Cooperative Baptist clergy to apply “who are willing to learn from their peers, sharing life together with them as they navigate the joys and sorrows of congregational ministry.”
“CBF Fellows nurture communities of faith that understand vocational ministry is a unique calling given by God — both to the person and to the congregation,” Speight said. “Laity are essential to the well-being of ministers as they offer collaborative feedback and guidance so that both the minister and the congregation thrive in these yearly years together.
“Recent seminary and divinity school graduates, who have preferably graduated within the past five years, or soon-to-be graduates who have expressed a clear call to serve vocationally in the local congregation as ministers are invited to apply.”
In 2012, CBF established the Fellows program to assist young Baptist clergy in their “first call” in making a healthy transition from seminary into congregational ministry. Through Fellows, CBF makes a two-year commitment to each minister and their congregation to support, learn from and inspire each of them so that they may thrive as ministers. The cohort consists of multiple face-to-face gatherings, peer guidance, mentoring and individual coaching sessions.
CBF Fellows is designed to help these ministers find answers to questions they didn’t even know to ask until they began the practice of ministry. Four key areas of leadership are examined throughout the cohort discussed and discovered in a learning community. These four key areas are: stance (the systems that shape you including family of origin, stresses in ministry and modes of interaction with others), style (how you operate day to day in ministry), setting (the community in which your ministry is located), and strategy (look at your ministry and leadership by developing your capacity for strategic thinking).
The deadline to submit applications is December 31. The 2018-2020 CBF Fellows cohort begins August 2018 and those accepted into the cohort will be announced June 2018 at the CBF General Assembly in Dallas.
CBF is a Christian Network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.