Programs in Pastoral Flourishing

In addition to Brite’s strong and well-developed Lifelong Learning program consisting of a lay training program (the Stalcup School of Theology for the Laity), a clergy conference (Minister’s Week) and standalone workshops and lectures, Brite is developing under the leadership of Dr. Barbara McClure, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Practice, a series of two-day workshops focused on flourishing in life and vocation.  Increasing one’s understanding of the many facets of flourishing and the practices that support it builds the capacity for resiliency in the face of transitions. Each semester two residential workshops are offered with the second building on the work of the first.

Dr. McClure brings to this project experience and commitments to leadership development, mentoring, and consulting.  She also will function as a resource person who can offer individual consultations and connect people with other resources that might be helpful to them.

CLICK HERE to view the brochure for the Thriving in Ministry Workshops.

PART ONE “Thriving as Pastor: Exploring the Meaning and Means”
March 7-8, 2019
Dr. Barbara McClure

Ministry can be both exhilarating and exhausting. While you as a pastoral leader have opportunities to bring good news, the expectation to over-work and be consistently present is normalized. Communities have multiple and never-ending needs, and you as a pastor are often encouraged to ignore your own life in the service of others. These dynamics can be particularly challenging in the midst of change and routinely lead to burnout. Clarity about what it looks like and feels like when you are thriving and specifics about how to achieve your own and others’ thriving can encourage and sustain you in your vocation.

This workshop will explore and clarify your deepest commitments and help you find your way in often challenging circumstances. It also serves as the foundation for the next workshop.

Dr. Barbara McClure (“Bar”) teaches pastoral theology and practice at Brite Divinity School. She has been exploring the flourishing life for more than twenty years: What is human flourishing? What does flourishing look and feel like? What might it take to flourish? What difference does it make if we flourish or not? What would it take for us all to flourish? Bar has led many classes, workshops, and retreats on the topic, bringing clarity to participants about flourishing (or lack thereof) in their own lives and helping them find ways forward to deeper, richer vocations. She is currently finishing a book on the topic: Emotions and Human Flourishing, to be published next year.

“Story Care: Practices for Flourishing in Ministry”
March 28-29, 2019
Dr. Karen Scheib

The stories of our lives significantly shape who we are, how we live, and how we practice ministry. Do our stories of call help us flourish in ministry or leave us floundering? In this workshop, we engage these questions by considering the stories others in ministry presented in pastoral memoirs and a close reading of our own life stories. By exegeting our life stories, we can identify those which sustain us and those which do not. We will learn practices of flourishing, including re-storying, practicing love, self-compassion, and honoring the body as steps toward creating a sustaining story of life and ministry that moves us toward flourishing.

Methods of instruction include a brief introduction to narrative practices of care, small group work, as well as journaling and reflective writing. Participants are asked to read Attend to Story: How to Flourish in Ministry which is included in the registration fee.

Dr. Karen Scheib is Professor of Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Karen’s work focuses on the power of story in shaping our lives and how to care for self and others by attending to life stories. She is the author of Attend to Stories: How to Flourish in Ministry (Foundery Press, 2018), Pastoral Care: Telling the Stories of Our Lives (Abingdon Press, 2016) and Challenging Invisibility: Practices of Care with Older Women (Chalice Press 2004), as well as a number of book chapters and journal articles. She was ordained as an elder in the United Methodist Church in 1982 and previously served as a pastor, hospital chaplain, and pastoral counselor. For the last twenty-five years she has taught pastoral theology and care.

Day One
Noon – Opening lunch
1:00 pm – Afternoon session
5:00 pm – Social time and dinner
Open evening

Day Two
8:30 am – Morning session
Noon – Lunch
1:00 pm – Afternoon session
4:00 pm – End

We realize that financial challenges are a significant aspect of one’s well-being. In an attempt to make these workshops available to all, registration is based on a sliding scale related to the size of the congregation’s or agency’s budget. Registration includes lodging, meals, workshop, assessment tool, a copy of Attend to Stories: How to Flourish in Ministry and up to 2 hours
of consultation with Dr. McClure.

Workshops are designed to be taken together; however, if you cannot make the second one, you can defer participation until it is offered again or register for the first one only.

Registration fee for both workshops:
Full registration $525
Church budget $200,000 to $400,000 $350
Church budget < $200,000 $150

Registration fee for first workshop only:
Full registration $225
Church budget $200,000 to $400,000 $150
Church budget < $200,000 $75


CLICK HERE to learn more about Brite’s Thriving in Ministry program.