The Massachusetts Council of Churches recognizes the continued struggles of pastors serving in part-time ministry positions across Massachusetts.  We’re hearing this both from leaders of our member denominations and through our regular visits to local congregations. As part-time positions are rapidly increasing in New England, we see three major barriers to thriving in part-time ministry: financial pressure, time management, and pastoral identity.

The Lydia Fellows program will address these barriers by increasing connectivity, esteem, authenticity, and engagement through financially compensated fellowships.

About the Program

The Lydia Fellows Program will support Pastoral fellows who will meet over the course of 1 year for retreats, fellowship, pastoral support and peer coaching. Through these gatherings and ongoing peer support, we will increase connectivity among part-time pastors; we will increase the esteem for the skills, creativity, and complexity involved in part-time ministry; and we will increase the sense of authenticity and engagement among pastors serving in part-time positions. Ultimately, the Mass Council of Churches desires to create spaces for pastors to flourish in part-time settings, providing new models of vibrant ministry for the Church in Massachusetts.

This program will support pastors from a wide variety of denominations and traditions who work in the Church in less than full time positions.  These pastors may identify as part-time, bi-vocational, underemployed, or as working multiple jobs out of economic necessity.

The Massachusetts Council of Churches will remunerate fellows for their time in the program with hopes of making learning and peer consultations possible for a new group of pastors seeking to grow in community and share best practices for supporting part-time ministry.

Our Goals

  • Increase the connectivity among part-time pastors, developing networks of support
  • Increase the esteem for the skills, creativity, and complexity involved in part-time ministry
  • Increase the sense of authenticity and engagement among pastors serving in part-time settings

Apply to the Lydia Fellows Program

The Lydia Fellows Program application is open until November 15th, 2019.

Apply to the Lydia Fellowship Program Today