Clergy Academy



Academy II is a continuation of the effort of nurturing clergy for their transformational ministry in the Mountain Sky Conference and the Mountain Sky area. Academy I was launched with the grants we received in 2014. The Mission and Ministry office of the Mountain Sky Conference was awarded a YCI Grant (Young Clergy Initiative) from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and a grant for the Ministerial Education Fund of the Mountain Sky Conference for the Academy for the Clergy Young in Ministry. For Academy II, the Ministerial Educational Fund group of the Mountain Sky Conference will be pursued again to help fund the Academy in addition to the Leadership Development fund of the Mountain Sky Conference. We now embark on Clergy Academy III, with the recognition that participants have enormous skills, both professional and ministerial, to grow with one another in intentional immersion and retreat learning experiences.


The purpose of the Academy is to nurture new clergy for lifelong transformational ministry.

 Experiential Model Around Core Leadership Values

The “Academy” is seeking an experiential model around a set of core leadership values:

  1. Theology of Ministry

  2. Pastor’s Spiritual Formation

  3. Missional Identity (in the Community)

  4. Creativity, Imagination, and Visioning

  5. Transformational Discipleship-making experiences that manifest in the church community

Discovery through Interaction with Creative Contexts of Ministry

The Academy will seek to help the clergy discover what they need and assist them to find the tools they need. Our goal is twofold: 1) discovery through interaction with creative contexts of ministry that challenge assumptions and seek to uncover new perspectives; and 2) resourcing ministry information to participants.

Structure and Timelines for Experiences

Four events in 2 years

  1. *Immersion Experience with Bishop Karen Oliveto: Spanish Immersion, Fall, 2019.

  2. Two-day retreat and Educational Event – Spring, 2020.

  3. Immersion Experience in Mountain Sky Conference – Fall, 2020.

  4. Two-day retreat and Educational Event (Wrap-up session) – Spring, 2021.

Spanish Immersion

This immersion trip will be led by Bishop Karen Oliveto and the Clergy Academy Design Team, and hosted by CILAC Freire, a small community of teachers, students, and activists, with the goal of promoting dialogue with people of other cultures.

The trip will consist of daily Spanish language instruction, Mexican culture activities (including the celebration of Dia de los Muertos), a home stay with local Mexican families, and visits to cultural, historic, and archaeological landmarks in the region. Social justice programming will also play a key role in this experience, including liberation theology, gender roles and LGBTQ issues.


Each participant will work with a coach. The role of the coaches will be to: 1) participate on an initial call to match participants and coaches; 2) coach once a month between sessions/experiences.


For more information on the Academy for Clergy Young in Ministry, please contact Rev. Annie Arnoldy, Superintendent of Leadership Development for the Mountain Sky Conference at