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Leadership Development

Clergy Development

Clergy Development

Leadership development clergy professional

Clergy learning from each other. Photo by Dave Stucke, Dakotas Conference.

Professional development opportunities

Compass Covenant groups: Compass covenant groups are designed by clergy for clergy professional growth and accountability.  Groups are formed by affinity such as the MCCI cohort, Journey Renewal partnership, clergy of churches with more than 500 congregants, clergy of churches with fewer than 50 congregants. If you want to join a group or have an idea for the formation of a Compass Covenant group, contact the Office of Leadership Development by e-mail or phone 605-990-7796.

Clergy Leadership Academy (CLA): Previously known as Provisional Training, this three-year  learning experience equips leaders with essential skills and practices for leading in such a time as this. The spiritual landscape is going through huge shifts, and that requires new ways of leading and reinvention of what it means to be a church. This time is calling forth bold, Spirit-led leaders who can shape and lead fearless, Spirit-led congregations into the mission field, offering Christ to all. We recognize that anyone new to ministry – for example, LLPs – will benefit from this training and are now welcome to attend. This training is still a mandatory requirement from the Board of Ordained Ministry for provisional members.

The CLA meets in 3-day sessions, twice a year—once in October and once in January/February. Community is built as peers engage in learning, covenant groups and mentoring relationships over three years.  Click here to register for the Fall Clergy Leadership Academy.

The CLA welcomes a new group each fall. If you are interested in being part of the next clergy group to participate in this experience or if you have questions, e-mail the Office of Leadership Development. Seasoned clergy are also welcomed.

MissionInsite: Every church in the Dakotas Conference has access to MissionInsite. MissionInsite holds information such as what community members are looking for in a pastor, a small group leader, hospitality, communications, and even refreshments. To get started, contact the Director of Ministries Office by e-mail or call 605-990-7791.

Mentoring: Clergy mentors relate to persons in the first several years under appointment. In the Dakotas Conference, the Board of Ordained Ministry provides training for mentoring and assigns clergy mentors in consultation with the district superintendent.  For more information, contact the Office of Leadership Development by e-mail or phone 605-990-7796.


Financial resources

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Clergy gather in groups to learn together. Photo by Dave Stucke, Dakotas Conference.

The Dakotas Conference provides financial resources for incoming, new and active clergy through financial stewardship training, grants, loans and scholarships.  Here are the resources available.

Continuing education funding request form

Continuing education credit reporting form

Application for seminary debt reduction

Lilly Grant Seed and Save Grant application

Lilly Grant Seed and Save Grant guidelines

Lilly Grant Student Debt Reduction Grant application

Lilly Grant Student Debt Reduction Grant guidelines

Stewardship training is available to clergy through the Lilly grant click here to contact the grant administrator.  The Finance Office and the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation offer a workshop contact them by e-mail or phone 605-990-7790 for more information.


Guidelines and policies

Here are some guidelines and policies that the Dakotas Conference has in place to guide the professional practive of clergy.

Clergy effectiveness
Basic sexual misconduct policy
Social media guidelines