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Diversity in Leadership Network
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Susan Ochs
(800) 728-7228, x5301
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100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202

Diversity in Leadership Mentors

One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. Psalm 145:4 (NRSV)

Mentors understand the power of connecting. Many have attended gatherings like this African American Executive Leadership Seminar. Photo by Kim Hayes Watkins

Many parts of the church are rediscovering the power of mentoring, for it is an integral part of biblical history and the Christian story. Moses was a mentor to Joshua. Eli mentored Samuel, who mentored David. Mordecai mentored Esther, who mentored King Artaxerzes, and Naomi mentored Ruth. Jesus mentored and taught the disciples to proclaim the good news. While we as disciples of Christ are called to walk with Jesus daily, we are also called to walk alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Diversity in Leadership Network was developed to help the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to become more diverse and inclusive and to help identify individuals for key leadership opportunities in the six agencies of the General Assembly.  Men and women who have agreed to be included in the database of individuals seeking employment opportunities with the six agencies may benefit from being paired with an experienced church leader, who can mentor and coach them through the challenges of leading in a time of great change in the church and in the institutions that serve it.

The Diversity in Leadership mentor is an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to increasing the inclusivity and diversity of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and living out God’s call for unity. Mentors should have at least four years experience serving as a member of the staff or Board of one of the six agencies or a mid council staff with similar years of experience.  In addition, mentors should be currently engaged in the life of the PC(USA) and in good standing in the denomination.

Pairing of Mentors and Candidates

A small staff team from across the Presbyterian Mission Agency knowledgeable about the gifts and skills of the mentors and Diversity in Leadership candidates will propose pairings of mentors and candidates. Mentors will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed pairings. Efforts may be made to accommodate mentors and candidates, if the staff team deems it is in the best interest of both individuals and the program.

An important role of a mentor is prayer. Photo courtesy of Marshall Nord

Role and Function of the Diversity in Leadership Mentor

  • Mentors should be available to commit to a minimum of one Diversity in Leadership candidate per year.
  • Mentors should strive to help connect Diversity in Leadership candidates to leadership and service opportunities in the PC(USA).
  • Mentors should help candidates discern and identify strengths that they can use to serve and lead the church.
  • Mentors may identify leadership positions in the six agencies or in other parts of the church that match the gifts, talents, and strengths of the candidates.
  • Mentors may serve as a reference for candidates who are seeking employment in leadership positions in the six agencies.
  • Mentors should be in communication with the Diversity in Leadership candidate they agreed to mentor at least once each quarter.
  • Mentors are encouraged to pray for and with the candidates and should encourage them to practice good physical, emotional and spiritual self-care.
  • Mentors should model good leadership skills for the candidates in carrying out their own responsibilities for the PC(USA).
  • Mentors should offer their own assessment of their relationship with the candidates and the candidate’s readiness for leadership at the end of each year.
  • Mentors should feel free to offer their suggestions for helping the Diversity in Leadership Mentoring Program to become more effective in nurturing and preparing racial ethnic individuals and women for leadership positions across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).


Opportunities for Gathering Mentors and Diversity in Leadership Candidates

Face-to-face interaction between mentors and Diversity in Leadership candidates is encouraged. The staff team from the Presbyterian Mission Agency will be seeking opportunities for mentors and candidates to gather, if possible, during the General Assembly, The Big Tent and other national church events.

See a list of active mentors


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