Pastoral Cohort Program

 

 

 

BRITE/NXTGEN Pastoral Cohort Program

The church often falls into the trap of believing that seminaries can offer all the training needed by future pastors; many seminaries buy into this same incorrect assumption. The BRITE model avoids some of this pitfall by keeping students in their home churches, but there are still aspects of a pastor’s training that BRITE is unable to offer. For instance, being on non-traditional/non-physical campus, BRITE cannot offer community outside of the classroom, practical soft skills training, or focused pastoral (i.e. mentoring that is strictly pastoral and not predominantly academic). As such, BRITE has partnered with NXTGEN Pastors (www.ngpastors.com), which specializes in these areas of training.

The Pastoral Cohort Program (PCP) of mentoring is fairly simple: Seminary students, specifically future pastors, gather once a month or so for a day of discussion, training, accountability, and friendship. These “cohorts” of students develop a network with one another, learn the soft skills of ministry that would be almost impossible to teach in an academic setting, and together process what they are learning in the classroom. A seasoned ministry veteran directs each cohort with additional training being offered by other ministry leaders who are skilled in a particular area of expertise. We are hoping that this cohort/mentoring model will help to supplement some of the less-robust facets of the BRITE program by providing some element of community, discussion, and fraternity among the students, and—hopefully—friendships and a network of support for a lifetime of ministry.

The BRITE Board of Trustees requires all students pursuing pastoral ministry to participate in a cohort—that is, students who are pursuing a MDiv or MDiv Diploma or BDiv degree. Roughly 9 cohort meetings will be offered each year, with students required to attend 18 over the course of their studies. Many BRITE degree candidates are long-term students, which means that those 18 meetings may be spread out over many years. However, we hope that you will see the value of these cohorts and consider attending more than 18 meetings during your time with BRITE. Practically, this breaks down to fewer than one meeting per month for a calendar year.

To reiterate: for all students participating in the MDiv, MDiv Diploma, or BDiv program (that is, if you are intending to pursue vocational ministry), the BRITE Board of Trustees is requiring participation in this program as a 0-credit field education module as part of your studies with BRITE. For more information on joining the next Cohort meeting, please email academicdean@brite-va.org