Thriving In Ministry


Mentoring is tied to clergy wellbeing, reports Dr. Matt Bloom, of Notre Dame University. Bloom conducts extensive research on the characteristics of clergy who are flourishing as pastoral leaders.

The Lilly Endowment puts it this way: “…the pastor has relationships with role models and exemplars who serve as mentors and who can guide him or her through common professional challenges and transitions.”

Recognizing the crucial role mentoring contributes to clergy wellbeing, CBF is embarking on a journey of formal and informal mentoring to support ministers in their particular ministry context.

Pastors of local churches are invited to apply to participate in a Thriving in Ministry Group that relates to their current ministry.

Thriving in Ministry Groups will engage in dedicated conversations around the challenges and learnings of their particular contexts. Each Thriving in Ministry Group will address the uniqueness of their callings as well as their personal wellbeing. Mentors, known as Pilots, will facilitate the groups. Together they will share and develop best practices while building and sustaining collegial relationships essential to ministerial well-being.

The term “pilots” references nautical pilots. Pilots, much like mentors, do not steer the ship, but rather board the ship when it enters unknown, new or treacherous waters and, while standing alongside the captain, point out warning signs and potential hazards the pilot has experience in navigating.

Journeying together for a year, a mentoring group comprised of 2 pilots and 8 group members will gather for an opening retreat, monthly meetings, and a closing retreat.


Ministers will benefit from:

  • the opportunity to work with two mentors
  • a new group of colleagues who share the same ministry context or challenges
  • an enhanced support system in the ministerial setting
  • tools and resources that contribute to flourishing
  • knowledge and wisdom applicable to their ministries
  • ultimately increased thriving of congregations


TIM Groups will focus on 6 different groupings of pastors:

  • Latino/a pastors
  • Rural pastors
  • Women pastors
  • Pastors who have transitioned to new churches/contexts
  • Pastors in their second half of ministry
  • Church starters

Before You Begin

We are now accepting applications for the first four groups which will begin with an opening retreat on October 23rd and October 30th 10:00 am - noon.

Here are the items you will want to gather ahead of time or be prepared to write:

  • A recent photo to upload(high-quality headshot, please)
  • Your current resume (this may be uploaded through our form or mailed to the CBF office)
  • Name, phone, and email address for two references (one from your church and one from a CBF colleague)
  • As part of the application, you will be asked to write the following. Each statement is to be no longer than 500 words:
    • a statement of your call
    • a statement of your Christian Faith
    • a statement of your relationship with CBF
    • a statement of why you want to be be part of the CBF Thriving in Ministry Initiative

Upon selection, Thriving in Ministry Group members will be asked to sign a covenant agreement with their church and CBF. Click here to view a sample covenant.


If you have any questions or need clarifications on any of the information being requested, contact the grant administrator of the CBF Thriving in Ministry Initiative, Tracy Hartman at