Next Generation Leadership Initiative (NGLI) is a leadership development initiative that equips, energizes, and empowers younger United Church of Christ local church pastors to build vibrant congregations that change lives and further God's mission in the world.NGLI seeks to honor and challenge younger clergy who demonstrate significant potential, who have accepted the high calling to parish ministry, who view parish ministry as a career path, and are willing to make a long-term commitment to service in congregational settings of the United Church of Christ.
For Frequently Asked Questions about the purpose and structure of NGLI click here for a direct link.
SECTION ONE: EXPECTATIONS
I. Basic Expectations of CandidatesThe ideal candidate will:
*Note: applicants will be considered without regard to race, sex, national origin, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation. II. Professional Development and Personal Traits of Candidates
- Be 35 years of age or under as of June 1, 2024
- Be authorized for ministry in and on behalf of the UCC by an Association/Conference
- Have served a total of five years or less as an authorized minister in a parish
- Hold a called position of 20 hours per week or more in a parish setting
- Be committed to long-term ministry in local churches of the United Church of Christ
| PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRAITS
| PERSONAL TRAITS
| Be able to articulate a personal vision/ mission/ core values statement for leadership in a parish setting
| Be a person of faith that shows love of God, trust in Jesus, and openness to the Holy Spirit
| Be committed to the mission of the United Church of Christ
| Be trusting, trustworthy, and able to engender a sense of trust in others
| Have experiences in the various settings of the United Church of Christ
| Demonstrate emotional and spiritual maturity appropriate to their age
| Demonstrate experience in and love for the local church
| Be persons of integrity – “what you see is what you get”
| Willingness and capacity to help a congregation broaden its base for mission and ministry
| Be committed to well-being in body and spirit
| Engage in spiritual practices that ground life and leadership
| Be able to deal with pressure
| Demonstrate capacity to think creatively when confronted with complexity, new ideas, shifting paradigms, and challenging situations
| Be open to expressions of diverse ideas and relationships with people of diverse backgrounds
| Creates a spirit and experience of teamwork within the congregation
| Be able to “think on their feet”
| Embodies a commitment to diversity
| Be vigorous and enthusiastic about life and ministry
| Have competence in twenty-first century communications technologies
| Be resilient and persevering
| Have excellent written and verbal skills
| Be teachable
| Demonstrate ability to think critically and theologically reflect
| Be self-confident without being self-centered
| Willing to lean into conflict from a self-differentiated and non-anxious perspective
| Be intellectually curious
| Welcomes feedback and integrates new insights
| Be self-aware and able to self-reflect
III. Expectations of the congregation where the NGLI pastor serves
- Partner with their pastor as they ask new questions, offer new ideas, practice new skills in ministry, and develop a mission and vision for the congregation,
- Provide the time for their pastor to attend NGLI events, which occur twice a year for approximately one week each in Years 1-4. Years 5+ are more self-directed, but will also likely need time away for study. It is important to note that this is continuing education time, not vacation since the pastor will be hard at work learning and growing,
- Provide for worship leadership, pastoral care coverage, and other critical ministerial duties while their pastor is away,
- Avoid the scheduling of meetings or conference calls that expect to include their pastor during scheduled NGLI events,
- Have identified leaders participate in annual assessments of their pastor as a transformational leader,
- Complete the annual UCC Yearbook reporting so that trends and patterns can be observed across the churches participating in NGLI
SECTION TWO: APPLICATION
.The video should be no more than 20 to 25 minutes long and address the following questions:
- How has God called you to: a. the ministry, b. the parish, and c. the United Church of Christ?
- The Bible is full of stories where people say "here I am, send me" to God's call, and then actively pursue God's vision as they perceive it. This deeply held vision becomes the compass that guides them into the future. What is your vision for your life right now; in other words, why do you do what you do?
- Choose a Biblical text and give specific examples on how it calls you to faithful and fruitful ministry.
- What leadership lessons have proven valuable in your ministry?
- Share a brief and specific narrative of your leadership in the congregation. Discuss why you initiated this leadership move, how you connected with lay/community leaders and their response, and what was the outcome.
- What spiritual practices do you engage in and how do they deepen your faith?
Application Time Line
February 1, 2024*
- Notice of Intent to Apply Form Due
- Congregational support Document Due
- UCC Ministerial Profile Due
March 1, 2024* - Video Application due
May/June 2024 - Applicants are notified on the Selection Committee's decision
Late Summer/Early Fall 2024 - Orientation of new cohort
*Note: These are hard deadlines. Extensions should not be expected.