What is PULPIT?

PULPIT (Program for Urban Leaders and Pastors in Transition) is a monumental program for Missio Seminary and will equip pastors in the Philadelphia metro region with effective strategies to thrive personally and professionally. The program will involve expert teaching/training, small group learning, large group retreats, multi-generational cohort-based peer groups, and individual activities.

PULPIT is funded through the Lilly Endowment’s Thriving in Ministry initiative that supports a variety of religious organizations across the nation as they create or strengthen pastoral leadership in Christian congregations. This has been a grantmaking priority at Lilly Endowment for nearly 25 years. “Leading a congregation today is multi-faceted and exceptionally demanding,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “When pastors have opportunities to build meaningful relationships with experienced colleagues, they are able to negotiate the challenges of ministry and their leadership thrives. These promising programs, including PULPIT, will help pastors develop these kinds of relationships, especially when they are in the midst of significant professional transitions.”

We Had a Joyous Time Honoring Our Colaborers in the Ministry


  • More than 1/3 of pastors are a high or medium risk of burnout (Barna Group, 2017)
  • 43% of pastors are at high or medium relational risk in family, friendships, or other close relationships (Barna Group, 2017).
  • All classes and programs are available on-line. The majority of our on-line classes are in a synchronous format. This means that you can engage with your professors and classmates from the comfort of your own home! For more information please contact our admissions department here.

Program Details

PULPIT is a two year program that will strengthen, equip, and support pastors in the Philadelphia metro region with the aim of producing healthier pastors (personally and professionally) and churches and increasing effective cooperation among pastoral leaders in the region. PULPIT will accomplish this by:

  1. Equip pastors to engage urban issues (e.g., gentrification, increasing immigrant and refugee populations, and issues of social justice) that directly impact their ministry.
  2. Develop healthy support systems for pastors through peer and mentoring communities

The PULPIT program will involve multiple opportunities for expert teaching/training, small group learning, multi-generational, cohort-based peer groups, and individual activities. The two year program will be built around the following 12 modules:

Ensuring Clergy Wellness: Mind, Body and SpiritClergy Addictions and Substance Abuse
Leading through Life Transitions and Church TraumaSpiritual Formation of the Pastor and Church Leader
The Productive Pastor and Church Leader: Principle Driven-LeadershipUrban Community Transitions and Congregational Change
Family Systems and Boundaries that Determine Healthy RelationshipsMinistry of Presence in the Neighborhood
Practical Principles for Managing Money for Life and MinistryEngaging Diversity
Power Dynamics and its Impact on Clergy and MinistriesBuilding Partnerships among Diverse Pastors

These modules will be facilitated through the following structure:

Large Group Multi-Day Retreats (2x per year)

  • Three-day retreats will have specific topics addressing key areas of pastoral health and will include two teaching modules relevant to that retreat’s theme. Small and large group learning will take place to engage material and allow for application to each person’s unique context.
  • Time will be provided for individual reflection, assessment, prayer, and worship.
  • Due to COVID-19 retreat formats are subject to change


Fall 2019 | Summer 2020
PULPIT Guest Preachers/Speakers

Personal and Professional Assessments

  • Program participants will use 360 degree assessments at the beginning and end of the two year program to measure personal growth, develop continued growth goals, and provide evaluation of the program’s effectiveness.

Small Group Cohort Meetings (9x per year)

  • Cohorts will have up to six-eight participants
  • Diverse cohorts include pastors of various ages and stages of ministry and community agencies to provide generational, professional, and cultural diversity, as well as represent leaders from a variety of perspectives and faith traditions.
  • Cohorts will include early-, mid-, and late-career pastors.
  • Cohorts will lead to deeper peer relationships, ministry partnerships, and stronger church unity across the Philadelphia metro region.
  • Cohort members will support one another as each seeks to apply the teaching/training from the retreats to their individual contexts and implement action steps resulting from the retreats.
  • Each cohort will be led by trained mentor facilitators to keep cohorts on track with program goals.  These mentor facilitators will also provide small group processing and teaching in the retreats


The total cost for the two year program is $1,500 for all activities which includes retreats, program materials, specialized seminars, professional coaching and personal assessments.

PULPIT Tuition Policy

The payment schedule for AY 2021-2023 is listed to the right. All payments are due on the 15th of each month.

A late payment of $5 may be assessed each month if billed charges are remitted 5 days beyond the due date. Please have your student ID # available.

Online payments guideline:

Please use this link to make online payment: https://missio.edu/pay-your-bill-now/
NOTE: Please refer to paragraph three of the payment instructions.

Is this program right for me or my pastor?

  1. Are you a pastor or ministry leader?
  2. Are you looking for ministerial and spiritual development?
  3. Are you in the midst of a transition in pastoral ministry? (e.g. – entering ministry, leaving ministry, leadership transitions, building changes, or some other form of transition)
  4. Are you looking for additional training on key urban issues in Philadelphia?
  5. Are you in need of personal and professional revitalization?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions then PULPIT could be a good fit for you. Click the button to start your journey to thriving in ministry.

Submit Application

PULPIT Program Testimonials

“[Missio’s PUPIT Program] allowed me to see the areas where I am hard on myself, and what I lack in self-care.” READ MORE

– Minister Michael H. Lee Jr.

Program Leadership

Cohort Leaders (2021-2023)

Cohort Leaders (2020-2022)

Cohort Leaders (2019-2021)