Resources » Leadership Development

A Tapestry of Love: The Spirituality of Caregiving

A Tapestry of Love: The Spirituality of Caregiving is a resource for caregivers who often feel isolated and prone to exhaustion, loneliness, depression, anger, and resentment. Using Jesus' interaction with Mary and Martha as recorded in Scripture, A Tapestry of Love provides a framework for spiritual practices that nurtures the crucial work of caregivers, bolsters their relationship with care-receivers, and promotes intimacy with God. The book is written by Joe LaGuardia, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Conyers, and Daphne Reiley, a member of the pastoral care team at Sandy Springs Christian Church. Click here to learn more. 

Care for the Troops information

CareForTheTroops Information

If you are interested in becoming a Veteran Friendly or Lead Congregation through CareForTheTroops, or if you want to learn more about CFTT, please contact Renée Bennett at 478-742-1191, ext. 3, or

Sabbatical Grant for Pastoral Leaders

SABBATICAL TIMELINE: March 1, 2011 thru August 31, 2012

View the Sabbatical Grant for Pastoral Leaders forms and application requirements

View the Sabbatical Grant for Pastoral Leaders description of application process

Many things necessary for the faithful practice of ministry are in short supply. Nothing, however, seems in shorter supply than time. Time for prayer, time for family, time for study, time for self.

The Louisville Institute offers pastoral leaders a chance to step out and step back from the pace and pressures of ministry through its Sabbatical Grant for Pastoral Leaders program. We believe that when clergy have opportunity for learning, growth, and recreation they also learn the habits and practices that sustain them in and for meaningful ministry. During a season of personal renewal, study, and reflection pastoral leaders embrace the gifts of time and Sabbath for their lives and ministries. As they are renewed and strengthened so are their families, and so is the Church.

Program Outline
Through its 2010 Sabbatical Grant for Pastoral Leaders grant competition, The Louisville Institute will award grants for eight-week and twelve-week sabbaticals. During this time recipients will devote themselves to a season of prayer, study, renewal and reflection o­n their vocations and ministries.

Recipients must be released from all pastoral duties during the entire grant period.

There are no residency or travel requirements or expectations, except for attendance at the preparation consultation in Louisville in February 2011. All expenses for that consultation are covered by the Institute, over and above the grant award.

Recipients are free to use the grant award at their discretion. Previous grantees have used their awards for the purchase of books, research material and equipment, conference and seminary expenses, salary replacement, travel, etc.

The application process requires pastoral leaders to center o­n a theme of concern, topic of study, area of inquiry, or focus of reflection designed to:

    * Nourish vocational identity and commitment
    * Refresh body and spirit while renewing relationships
    * Rekindle habits of heart and mind that sustain o­ne for and in ministry

Areas of focus and inquiry might include, but are not limited to:

Spiritual Practices -
What are the distinctive spiritual practices vital to Christian faith and life, and how may they be best cultivated for sustaining Christian ministry?

Pastoral Imagination -
How does the o­ngoing encounter with scripture, theology and tradition nurture the pastoral imagination necessary for a flourishing pastoral ministry?

Worship -
How may churches create and adapt patterns of Christian worship that meaningfully engage successive generations of believers and seekers while remaining faithful to Christian tradition?

Changing face of ministry -
How may pastoral leaders renew their vocations and sustain their gifts in response to the ever increasing pace of change in the life of the Church and the expectations of ministry?

Timeline Options
To encourage a successful sabbatical experience, eight-week and twelve-week sabbaticals shall be taken in a single time segment. The Louisville Institute recognizes that in some extraordinary circumstances this may not be possible. A waiver may be negotiated after a grant is awarded. All proposals should be developed based o­n a single time segment and be taken between March 1, 2011 and August 31, 2012.

Recipients of a 2010 Sabbatical Grant for Pastoral Leaders shall take this sabbatical between March 1, 2011 and August 31, 2012. Applicants who wish to take sabbatical after August 31, 2012 should apply in 2011.

Who Is Eligible?
The program is open to Christian clergy, church staff members, denominational staff, and others employed in recognized positions of pastoral leadership, ordained and lay. Seminary administrators and faculty members are not eligible for this grant program. In past years, most successful applicants have at least five years of pastoral experience, and anticipate five or more years of active ministry after the sabbatical.

A note to Doctor of Ministry degree and other degree candidates – While those engaged in a particular degree program are welcome to apply, provided they meet the criteria listed above, the fact that you are working toward a degree will neither add to nor detract from your chance to receive a Sabbatical Grant for Pastoral Leaders. Because grants are awarded for pastoral leaders to take sabbaticals, any degree program is incidental to the application.  SGPL funds may not be used for tuition or any other expense related to the completion of any degree program.

The program is open to pastoral leaders in the United States and Canada. Past recipients of Louisville Institute sabbatical, study, and research awards for pastoral leaders are not eligible. Applicants may not submit applications to more than o­ne Louisville Institute grant program within the same grant year (June 1-May 31).

Questions about eligibility may be sent to

Live Your Calling: A Practical Guide to Finding and Fulfilling Your Mission in Life

Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck (Jossey-Bass, 2004)

Do I Belong in Seminary?

Ronald E. Parker (The Alban Institute, Inc., 1998).

Under the Unpredictable Plant: An Exploration in Vocational Holiness

Eugene Peterson (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2001).

The Choice: Choosing A Life that Matters

Youth Bible stufy material published by Smyth and Helwys in conjunction with The Samuel Project.

The material explores themes centered around new creation, making choices, ministry, giftedness, discernment and action.  In The Samuel Project Kit there is a youth teaching guide, ten youth reflection guides and a resource kit.  For further informaion call 1-800-747-3016 or visit

(Smyth & Helwys)

Jesus on Leadership

Seven principles to assist leaders with everything from humbling their hearts to building a team for Christ. C. Gene Wilkes (Tyndall House Publishing, October 1998).

Let Your Life Speak

An insightful and moving meditation of finding one's true calling. Parker Palmer (Josey-Bass Publishing, 2000).

An Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation

Exploration of ways to practice spiritual disciplines in everyday life. Shows how personality influences the spiritual practices to which we are drawn. M. Robert Mulholland, Jr. (InterVarsity Press, 1993).

Good to Great

Jim Collins (Collins, 2001).

Becoming a Healthier Pastor

Ronald Richardson (Fortress Press, 2005).

Creating A Healthier Church: Family Systems Theory, Leadership, and Congregational Life

Ronald Richardson (Fortress Press, 2005).

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make A Big Difference

Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown and Company, 2002).

Selecting Church Leaders: A Practice in Spiritual Discernment

When it comes to calling lay people and clergy to church leadership positions, the "How-tos" of structural procedures and church polity resources are readily available through denominational offices. But these resources, ususlly patterned o­n political and business decision-making models, often fail to consider the spiritual aspects of the selection process. Chuck Olsen and Ellen Morseth argue that, in the selection of church leaders, both the mystical aspect of guidance by God's spirit and the human faculties of reason, imagingaion, and intuition should be operative.

Selecting Church Leaders looks at the human side that is redeemed, spirit-graced, and enlightened, along with the human shadow side, which is controlling, ego-driven and destructive, and shows how these two sides need to be held in partnership and tension.  The authors offer a prayer-full process of seeking God's yearing in a particular setting, coupled with both biblical and contemporary illustrations, to show how the practices of spiritual discernment may be implemented to help church bodies o­n their way to this new way or working.

Charles Olsen and Ellen Morseth (The Alban Institute, 2002).

The Leadership Labyrinth: Negotiating the Paradoxes of Ministry

Judson Edwards (Smyth & Helwys).

Effective Church Leadership: Building on the Twelve Keys

Kennon L. Callahan (Jossey-Bass, 2000).

Leading Congregational Change: A Practical Guide for the Transformational Journey

Jim Herrington, Mike Bonem, James H. Furr (Jossey-Bass, 2000).

Leadership Without Easy Answers

Ronald A. Heifetz (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1994).

Leading Women: How Church Women Can Avoid Leadership Traps and Negotiate the Gender Maze

Carol E. Becker (Abingdon Press, 1995).

Leading Change

John P. Kotter (Harvard Business School Press, 1996).

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