In response to the need to train, empower, and network future leaders for the Church and the world, Trinity launched its leadership development initiative. The initiative aims to develop a global collaborative network of educators and innovators working at the intersection of faith and leadership.
We expect the initiative, in collaboration with partners, to equip lay and ordained leaders in the Church—and leaders in values-aligned secular organizations—to respond to emerging challenges and work together in dynamic partnerships that honor and activate the ministry of all believers and those who share our values.
The work focuses on three audiences/projects, supported primarily through grantmaking from Trinity, and guided by a diverse advisory group of church leaders, seminary faculty, and educators from secular institutions.
In 2019, Church Divinity School of the Pacific and Trinity Church Wall Street convened leaders of the Episcopal Church to discuss ways to identify and equip emerging leaders for the Church and the world. Through this and other convenings, Trinity works to promote and share innovations in practical, faith- and skills-based leadership development in theological education.
Trinity recently advanced its commitment to leadership development by awarding $1.8 million in grants to seminaries, dioceses and non-profits. Robert Garris, Managing Director for Leadership Development, said, “These grants advance our goal of developing faith leaders, both clergy and lay, whose leadership is embedded in the values of faith and empowered by practical leadership and management skills that bridge congregation and neighborhood.”
Prospective grant applicants should keep the following priorities under consideration:
- Applicants might be seminaries or divinity schools but might also be dioceses, Church organizations, or other institutions offering non-degree programs of theological education focused on leadership development.
- Proposals should advance innovation, taking new approaches to leadership development that develop practical skills, shaped by faith, for action in the world. Examples of these skills might be (but aren’t limited to) strategy, conflict resolution, team building, congregational development, financial decision making, communications, community engagement, and others, all shaped and exercised through faith and values.
- Proposals must link faith and theological education with mindsets or skills relevant to successful leadership of groups or institutions.
- Proposals should produce resources that can be shared with a broad collaborative community interested in faith and leadership formation, preferably shared digitally.
- Proposals should describe a project that has the potential for independent financial sustainability over time.