Nurture & Support

Nurture & Support

Clergy Affinity Groups

An Affinity Group gathers several times per year around a specific topic, learning goal or type of ministry work. These groups are led by a topic expert who plans each gathering, resources the group and facilitates group conversations, and are conducive to creating a safe space in which clergy can learn and grow through deep sharing and honest reflection.

Learn more below:

Retirement Affinity Group 

Becoming More Racially Conscious:  A Learning Journey for White Ministers

Tempered Resilience: How Leaders are Formed in the Crucible of Change

Ministers of Color Affinity Group

Clergy Communities of Practice

Colleagues share best practices, discuss current topics in ministry, share the joys and challenges of ministry, and support one another in a confidential setting that is led by a trained facilitator.


The SNEUCC currently convenes over 40 Communities of Practice including New Clergy Groups, Seasoned Pastors, and University Chaplains.  To join a group, contact Karen Ziel at

For more, read Clergy Communities of Practice Offer Nurture and Support: A reflection by Karen Ziel, Assistant Director of the Center for Transformational Leadership (CTL) 

Interest Form for Clergy Communities of Practice: Please complete our interest form if you'd like to join a group. Groups form as needs and interest require twice a year.  Immediate placement is available on occasion as existing groups have openings.

Facilitators can access the Facilitator Reports here:
CCoP Group Facilitator Report  
New Clergy CoP Group Facilitator Report 


Coaches practice deep listening and ask powerful questions to help an individual or group to discover the insights they have within. 

Find a coach or train to be a coach on the Together We Thrive website or through the Center for Transformational Leadership

For more on coaching, watch the "Professional Coaching" video at right,  offered by Together We Thrive and The Center for Transformational Leadership .

To find out more about how to access a coach through the CTL, contact us at:

Together We Thrive 

Together We Thrive is an ecumenical clergy development initiative funded by the Thriving Ministry Grant from the Lilly Endowment. The program is in collaboration with the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and the New England Synod ELCA, Lutheran.

Programs funded through this grant include: 

  • Tending the Fire (a program that draws on family system theory)
  • Clergy Communities of Practice for Episcopal and ELCA Lutheran clergy
  • Clergy Affinity Groups
  • Clergy Coach Training - affordable Coaching services for leaders and congregations
  • Annual Educational Intensives  

Learn more on the Together We Thrive website

Additional Resources

Facilitating Healthy Pastor-Congregation Relations

The church is experiencing something of a crisis in the pastorate system. Clergy morale is low, with pastors under attack as never before. And increasing number of involuntary pastoral terminations leave a lasting legacy of pain in many congregations. this workshop is intended to help congregations address these problems.  This workshop suggests some structural changes that have been found to help churches function in more healthy ways. In addition, attention is given to emotional processes and the ways that leaders function, integrating family systems theory and the insights it provides with regard to leadership and self-differentiation.  This seminar is provided by Lombard Mennonite Peace Center.

Care of Souls

We feel this in our loneliness, the disruption of our communal life, and the pain of our polarized society. As more of us step away from religious identity, we don’t even have common language to talk about the need we feel. Even the word ‘soul’ might not resonate with you. Where, then, do we turn? After four years of asking this question, we’re writing because we’ve gotten to know an emerging field of responders. They all use different words to describe their work, but here we call it, the Care of Souls. These innovators are applying ancient wisdom to today’s social and spiritual disconnection. You might be one of them. This report frames seven key roles in the Care of Souls. In each of these roles, we illustrate how an individual can grow from novice to master over time. And the more skillful we become at this work, the more we contribute to our society becoming just and whole.  This material provided by Sacred Design.

Acknowledging the Toll of the Pandemic on Ministry Leaders

Churches and their members may not fully appreciate the strain the pandemic has placed on their pastors and other ministry leaders. Mike Bonem urges congregations to take heed of the stress carried by leaders in this busy and chaotic time and develop plans to respond. This material provided by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership.

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