Pathways Priest

Title: Pathways to Vitality Initiative — Pathways Priest

Classification: Full Time

Reports To: Canon to the Ordinary for Congregational Development

Target Start Date: June 1, 2019

To apply: Please email a cover letter, resume, updated OTM profile by May 7 to Canon Kristin White, Canon to the Ordinary for Congregational Development and Leadership.

The Pathways to Vitality Initiative in the Diocese of Indianapolis, funded by the Lilly Endowment, supports the position of Pathways Priest, a curacy-style program in which a recent seminary graduate serves for a total of two years while completing three eight-month mentored rotations at congregations participating in the Pathways program. The experience aims to form the Pathways priest and provide experience in the practical administrative skills required for effective parish ministry.

While the Diocese of Indianapolis cannot guarantee employment following the residency experience, the Pathways Priest will be well-prepared to receive a call as a full-time rector or vicar. In turn, the Pathways Priest will provide creativity and energy to each congregation during his/her rotation.

The Pathways Priest will:

  • Complete three, eight-month rotations at three diverse parishes
  • Reside in the Indianapolis metropolitan area which will be convenient to the three parishes ensuring that relocation will not be necessary with each rotation
  • Learn from and assist parish rectors or vicars with diverse leadership styles by providing sacramental priestly ministry, pastoral care and administrative support as defined by the needs of each congregation
  • Participate fully in the parish life and worship of each parish
  • Assist the Pathways to Vitality diocesan team as needed in the formation of the parish curriculum
  • Participate in eight Pathways to Vitality workshops and retreats during the two-year residency
  • Participate in diocesan activities as expected by the Bishop
  • Participate in the diocesan community of practice that is seeking new ways of being church
  • Exhibit faithful patience, creativity and good humor as the parish program evolves, and therefore possibly changes day-to-day responsibilities and long-term goals

The Pilot Parishes’ Clergy, Vestries/Bishop’s Committees and Lay Leaders will be:

  • Inspiring, engaging and informative mentors (rectors or vicars and wardens)
  • Flexible and generous in scheduling Sunday and weekday services as well as other activities
  • Enthusiastic about developing new skills and practices gleaned through participation in Pathways workshops and retreats
  • Passionate about engaging in Episcopal evangelism and growing their congregations
  • Supportive of the Pathways Priest in his/her growth as an ordained leader

The successful candidate will possess:

  • A Master of Divinity degree – preference may be given to graduates of an Episcopal seminary
  • Ordination to the priesthood OR on track for ordination in 2019
  • Deep and articulated Christian faith
  • Pastoral and caring presence
  • An entrepreneurial and creative spirit with the ability to be a self-starter
  • Capacity to be tactful while setting appropriate boundaries; good time manager; good interpersonal skills and self-awareness
  • Willingness and ability to be a team player
  • Commitment to lay leadership development
  • High levels of energy, enthusiasm and resilience


The Pathways to Vitality Initiative seeks to enhance ministerial innovation, vitality and financial sustainability in the Diocese of Indianapolis. This initiative is funded by a transformative grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., and is part of the Endowment’s national program to address economic challenges facing pastoral leaders and congregations among 30 denominations and judicatories. 

The grant provides for three diverse congregations to share an assisting priest. The clergy and lay leadership of the three pilot parishes will participate in an exciting two-year learning experience designed to bring together committed leaders who care about and want to strengthen the overall life and health of their congregations. The curriculum for these parishes draws upon the latest studies on leadership development and congregational vitality by incorporating experiential learning, reflection and worship.

Compensation and benefits are in accordance with the guidelines approved by the Diocese of Indianapolis and are available upon request.

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