CBF Fellows Covenant



2018-2020 COHORT

The CBF Fellows program, originally funded by a generous grant by the Lilly Foundation, provide young Baptist ministers in their "first-call" positions with practical ministry resources in the context of a supportive peer-based cohort. CBF Fellows makes a two-year commitment to support, learn from, and encourage each other in a variety of ways and settings. The ultimate goal of the CBF Fellows program is to offer young Baptist leaders support, networking opportunities and resources to guard against burnout or isolation in their ministry positions.

CBF Fellows is a covenantal relationship between the first call minister, her or his congregation and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. The task of providing nurture and support for first call ministers requires a clear and intentional focus from all parties. Together, we will work to provide an enviornment in which a solid foundation for life-long congregational ministry is formed. This covenant establishes the framework for this good work.


  • Participate in all program events as scheduled:
    • August 20 - 23, 2018: Session 1, Decatur, GA
    • February 25 - March 1, 2019: Session 2 (after ChurchWorks, St. Louis, MO
    • June 17 - 21, 2019: Session 3 (before General Assembly), Birmingham, AL
    • October 14 -16, 2019 (tentative): Session 4, Nashville, TN
    • February 17 - 21, 2020 (tentative): Session 5 (after ChurchWorks), TBD
    • June 22 - 26, 2020: Session 6 (before General Assembly) Atlanta, GA
  • Complete all cohort learning assignments
  • Participate in online communcation group setup by CBF for use in-between sessions for sharing of resources, ideas, and communinity building.
  • Participate in all monthly Zoom video check-in calls and mentoring opportunities
  • Utilize coaching resources as provided
  • Provide periodic feedback and assessments as needed
  • Communicate learnings from cohort with congregation and/or Minister Encouragement Team
  • Continue and deepen affiliation with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
  • Pray for their congregation, the other members of the cohort, and for themselves as they invest in this work together
  • Continue current first call ministry position
    • If in transition or discernment during the cohort, the minister will communicate with the Director of CBF Fellows (or another member of the Fellows Faculty) so that both parties can work together for mutual understanding and support.


  • Grant the minister time away from the church to participate in the cohort sessions. This time away is not to be considered as vacation time
  • Assist the minister in naming a Minister Encouragement Team. This team focuses on the encouragment and growth of the minister during the cohort
  • Provide opportunities for the minister to share their learnings with the congregation after each session of CBF Fellows
  • Pray for the minister, your congregation, and other CBF Fellows
  • Provide periodic feedback and assessments as needed
  • Continue and deepen affiliation with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship


  • Offer six cohort learning experiences
  • Provide 16 one-hour coaching sessions with a trained coached (offerd through the CBF Coaching Network and the Center for Congregational Health)
  • Provide intentional, focused support for the CBF Fellows participant as they transition into congregational ministry
  • Invest program resources (faculty support, curriculum, assessments, travel/logisitic support, etc.) valued at $18,000/CBF Fellow during the Cohort
  • Maintain and deepen the commitment in supporting the ministries and missions of each CBF Fellow's congregation
  • Prayerfully support the ministry of the CBF Fellow, their congregation, and the work of each CBF Fellow Faculty member