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“I will make you fish for people.” —Mark 1:17

About the program

Company of New Pastors


Company of New Pastors is a pastoral formation program that seeks to both deepen and sustain the theological foundation of pastoral leaders.  Company of New Pastors focuses on the critical period of vocational formation, beginning in seminary and continuing into the first years of ministry, helping to establish and nurture habits of theological reflection and spiritual formation to sustain a lifetime of ministry.  

The objectives of Company of New Pastors are simple:  to encourage new pastoral leaders (and their mentors) to engage in daily prayer, daily scripture reading and regular and ordered theological reflection in community with others.  These objectives are so simple it is tempting to add other elements, or to ignore them altogether.  Yet despite their simplicity, these disciplines can be transforming.  Pastoral leaders who are, first and foremost, dedicated disciples can lead worshiping communities to be communities of disciples.

The basis of the program is mentored peer covenant groups.  Groups are mentored by experienced faculty and pastors who bring to the program a wealth of pastoral knowledge and wisdom.

…CNP groups meet for prayer, study, mutual admonition and encouragement, and table fellowship

…CNP seminary groups meet monthly during the final year of seminary under the guidance of dedicated faculty mentors.

…CNP covenant groups convene periodically for 3-4 days, to study and pray together, to continue encouraging one another, and to hold one another accountable to their shared covenant. Groups meet over the course of four to five years.

…CNP meetings are facilitated by two mentoring pastors, individuals who demonstrate faithfulness, fruitfulness, and fulfillment in pastoral work.

…CNP covenant groups are intended to become close-knit communities of theological friendship whose members mutually fan the flame of their common calling, creating relationships that last a lifetime.


Why a Company of New Pastors?

Experience tells us it is not easy for pastors to change deeply entrenched habits midstream.  Research from the Lilly Endowment's Sustaining Pastoral Excellence programs shows there is a correlation between pastoral leaders who participate in peer groups and growing churches. Company of New Pastors provides an opportunity to begin ministry with the support of peers and seasoned mentors, as well as a framework for pastoral leaders to develop habits that will serve and sustain a lifetime of faithful ministry, regardless of changes in church structure, individual calls or situations.

Have questions?  See Frequently Asked Questions

Program Leadership

Company of New Pastors utilizes a shared leadership among program staff and four Program Mentors. The Program Mentors, Rev. Jim Kitchens, Rev. Dave Rohrer, Rev. Kristin Frederich, and Rev. Jeffrey Ugoretz, bring to CNP experience as pastors, leaders, scholars, and mentors of CNP Covenant Groups.  These Program Mentors assist program staff in strategic planning, mentor recruitment and training, national meeting planning and program management.  

The Rev. Karen Russell

Cindy CushmanThe Rev. Karen Russell serves the Office of Theology and Worship, overseeing the the Company of New Pastors programming and funds development efforts.  Karen brings extensive experience to her role in leading the team in support of this program. Karen may be contacted by telephone at (800) 728-7228, x5401, or by email.



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