The United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana has selected four young Louisiana pastors to sponsor for the Advanced Pastoral Leadership program, a five-year training course designed to assist emerging clergy leaders in developing their potential for fruitful leadership.
Participants for APL were selected from among those who are ordained in the United Methodist Church, serving in the Louisiana Conference, and have at least 30 years of potential remaining service. Each applicant went through an extensive selection process, submitting a sermon video, participating in an interview and obtaining affirmation from the District Superintendent and the Bishop.
The selected APL participants are: Rev. Colleen Bookter, University UMC, Baton Rouge; Rev. Andrew Sutton, First UMC, Lafayette; Rev. Marissa Teauseau, First UMC, Alexandria; and Rev. Max Zehner, Rayne Memorial UMC, New Orleans. The Foundation has sponsored ten other pastors in the program since 2012.
Participants will learn from a variety of leadership pastors and community leaders and Rev. Janice Virtue, leadership consultant and educator, will serve as program guide. She is an ordained elder in the UMC and holds a master of divinity from Perkins School of Theology and an MBA from Indiana University.
Session topics will cover issues such as discernment of leadership gifts and creation of development goals; current realities of the UMC, engaging staff and congregation in strategic planning; implementing change and managing resistance; preaching content and style; budgets and basic church accounting, money sermons and personal financial planning; and setting a personalized growth and development plan.
The Foundation has committed up to $55,000 to support this initiative and will underwrite all program expenses. Participants will invest $250 per year and commit to attend all sessions.
Located in Baton Rouge, the United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana was founded in 1975 and serves United Methodist churches, institutions and individuals within the Louisiana Annual Conference, providing financial guidance and education, loans and grants. It is one of the largest United Methodist Foundations in the denomination.