Jump directly to the Content Jump directly to the Content
June 3, 2021Leadership

The Rise and Role of the Executive Pastor, Part 2

Our cohort specifically designed for executive pastors.
The Rise and Role of the Executive Pastor, Part 2
Image: Unsplash/Austin Distel

Leading the School of Mission, Ministry, and Leadership at Wheaton College is a great joy. We’ve seen our program grow exponentially, and the current pandemic has not slowed us down.

One of the advantages of our program is that we are launching cohorts in specialized areas. These cohorts take many of the same classes that all our students do— studying courses from leadership, the bible, theology, and more. And, of course, taking them with the world-class professors that make up the Wheaton College Graduate School.

We have also been launching cohorts around specialized areas of ministry, including church planters, rural pastors, pastors of large churches, and missions pastors. Today, I want to tell you about our new cohort for executive pastors (XPs).

The XP Role

Many XPs come from the business world or from inside the church and often did not have the opportunity to attend seminary. In addition, executive pastor (XP) roles have reached an age of professionalization and complexity that warrants advanced study and preparation. Executive pastors are in a unique position as leaders in the church. So, at Wheaton College, we are offering an opportunity for XPs to increase their effectiveness as leaders while learning with other XPs in a cohort.

The M.A. in Ministry Leadership is a program that will provide thought-leadership and practical expertise for church ministry. Eric Geiger and I, along with other world-class professors, will teach this practical program that fosters the holistic development of spiritual maturity, theological integration, and skilled leadership.

Cohort Launching in June

We are launching this cohort specifically designed for executive pastors with a gathering June 28-30 at Wheaton College. This cohort is for you to earn a master’s degree that is specifically focused in and around your area of ministry and ideally, applicable to your current role.

This cohort is designed to be rich both in knowledge and practice. The cohort model allows leaders in the same ministry field to learn from one another, network, and spur one another on with encouragement. We will hold week-long classes at Mariners Church in Irvine, California in the fall and at Wheaton College in the spring and/or summer. In addition, some courses will be online.

There is still time to sign up for the June class, or you can connect for the fall class.

Why Study?

Don’t miss this—you will be taking classes with other executive pastors at Wheaton College, a school known for the highest levels of academic excellence. You will be covering areas unique to your field and role, but also the general courses that pastors and church leaders would want to engage at the seminary level.

Matt Chandler, who is a student in a cohort that met just a couple of months ago, explained it like this:

“We have a tendency, if we’re not careful, to get stuck—to stop learning or feel like we’ve arrived in learning. I think that if you look at it historically, the men and women who lead well to the end are men and women who have been committed to being challenged, to having their ideas critiqued, to not resting on— I figured this out once and for all, but have continually sharpened what they know.”

You will have the find time in your schedule, as Matt did, but with the support of your church, you can be a better leader.

We’d love to have you join us. Now is the time to let us know if you might be interested and how we can help!

For more information, check the Executive Pastor webpage or email us.

The Exchange is a part of CT's Blog Forum. Support the work of CT. Subscribe and get one year free.
The views of the blogger do not necessarily reflect those of Christianity Today.

More from The Exchange

Christianity Today

The Rise and Role of the Executive Pastor, Part 2