The Barnabas Project: Episcopal Church Foundation Completes 3-year Leadership Program for Seminarians, New Clergy and Lay Leaders

August 20, 2014

The Episcopal Church Foundation is pleased to announce the completion of the 3-year pilot program, The Barnabas Project: Parish Life Education for Seminarians, New Clergy and Lay Leaders. Barnabas trained over 550 emerging church leaders by providing parish life skills to lead their congregations to meet the future needs of the Church.

Barnabas addressed practical aspects of ministry that ordained leaders need to know and in which lay and clergy leaders need to share. Examples included budgeting, non-profit management, ministry and leadership roles, staff and volunteer development, managing change, vision & planning, communications and more.

"I transitioned to serving as a solo-rector during the program, and am grateful for The Barnabas Project,” said the Rev. Adam Yates, rector at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, East Haddam, CT. “It provided training for managing a parish, and gave me confidence not to be anxious. . . I was able to devote energy towards getting to know my community and working with lay leadership to develop a new mission strategy."
ECF partnered with five Episcopal seminaries and ten dioceses, holding workshops at each (seminaries: Bexley Hall, OH, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, CA, General Theological Seminary, NY, Seminary of the Southwest, TX and Virginia Theological Seminary, VA; dioceses: California, Connecticut, Delaware, El Camino Real, Indianapolis, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Southern Ohio, Southwestern Virginia and West Texas).
“As Barnabas developed,” said Donald V. Romanik, President of ECF, “we recognized the need and benefits of training lay and clergy leaders together. This model created a shift towards ‘team’ ministry and provided impetus for ECF’s creation of Vital Teams to build effective lay+clergy leadership teams.”

ECF’s recently launched Vital Teams is designed to help build, strengthen and enhance lay+clergy leadership teams that are at the heart of ministry in the Episcopal Church. Vital Teams will offer training on forming lay+clergy teams, provide tools for identifying strong team leaders and work with leadership formation institutions to promote strong lay+clergy leadership teams.

Donald V. Romanik affirmed that “ECF is deeply grateful to the Rev. Canon Carl Gerdau for his unwavering generosity in making The Barnabas Project possible and providing initial funding for Vital Teams.”

For more information on Vital Teams or The Barnabas Project, please email Kate Adams, ECF Special Projects Director.