Institutes & Initiatives

Launched in 2014, Union’s VISION program supports and encourages a diverse group of faith leaders at mid-career to think out loud together and explore new directions in ministry.

VISION participants partner with respected civic leaders, distinguished Union faculty, and experienced mentors who share a commitment to the goal of creating healthy communities and houses of worship.

Vision announces a new program, “The Collaborative for Faith Leadership”

The Collaborative for Faith Leadership at Union Theological Seminary will welcome its inaugural cohort, and convene in September 2019.

Apply Now!

Why envision new directions in ministry?

Research finds that wise faith leadership develops over time – and that support for learning across the arc of ministry is integral for developing and sustaining the work of faith leaders.1

As an inaugural cohort member of the VISION program, and a Mentor for the current cohort, I have become acutely aware of the need for faith leaders to mentor and be mentored; VISION invites collaboration from diverse faith traditions and endeavors to continually re-imagine the work and relationship between community and ministry. - Rev. Audrey Williamson, Director of The Collaborative for Faith Leadership

The Collaborative for Faith Leadership

The Collaborative for Faith Leadership invites participants to imagine and re-imagine the work of mid-career Ministry.  We have found that collaboration is key to building leadership skills and cultivating resources for ministry.  We will engage with the faculty and administration of Union Theological Seminary, and invite community leaders and seasoned pastors to each Seminar.  We look forward to hosting conversations that will invite shared expertise, inspired collaboration, and address the challenges and rewards of faith leadership across traditions and denominations.

Apply Now!

If you have questions, contact

Hear more from VISION cohort members.

What have we learned so far?

Thinking Out Loud Together is Key to Strengthening Leadership
As the capacity for and practice of leadership grows with experience gained, that growth demands new forms of support and contexts for reflection.  Collaboration is key to growth.

Collaborative Relationships are Key to Learning
Over the course of the program, experienced mentors meet with participants during monthly seminars and annual retreats.  They also visit participants’ places of worship.  Collaborative relationships expand participants’ network of faith and civic leaders, and help participants envision what is possible for their own congregations and communities.

VISION has exposed me to new urban ministries, civic leaders, and new partnerships. These have expanded my pastoral imagination and built my confidence as a pastor. - Pastor Arden Strasser, VISION Cohort 2

Christian A.B. Scharen and Eileen R. Campbell-Reed, “Learning Pastoral Imagination: A Five-Year Report on How New Ministers Learn in Practice,” Auburn Studies (2016):20.

VISION has been made possible thanks to generous support from Lilly Endowment Inc.