Shepherding Shepherds who Shepherd the Flock

From Internship in seminary to Residency, after seminary, to Fellowship, mid-career, to Lifelong Learning, the D. James Kennedy Institute provides support for sustainable spiritual health for you, the pastor, and your congregation.


The Philosophy of Ministry of the Kennedy Institute is summarized in this statement: Public theology in the Church’s service.

  • Research
    • The Kennedy Institute is a Christian Think Tank dedicated to research that supports sustainable spiritual health for pastors and congregations.
    • Current Research Projects
      • Reimagining Pastoral Education and Training
      • Public Theology and the Secular Age
      • Christ and the Arts
  • Writing
    • The Kennedy Institute, as a Christian think-tank, produces scholarly research papers, position papers and seeks to advance the mission of The Institute new articles, books, monographs, and electronic publications that supports the Vision and Mission of The Institute.
  • Resources
    • Salem Communications
      • Bible commentary articles
    • Monographs for Public Theology in the Secular Age
    • Reimagining Pastoral Education and Training
      • Internship
      • Residency
      • Fellowship
      • Lifelong Learning
    • The following is an example from the Residency Phase:
      • First Quarter: Genesis
      • 1. Conversion (Reflecting on your own sacred encounter with the risen Christ and that encounter’s continuing formation on your present ministry)
        • Cycle of Learning (for each component)
          • Video by a subject matter expert (SME)
          • Praxis (conduct the competency in the parish)
          • Verbatim (written report of the event)
          • Report-back
            • Pastoral Supervisor
              • “What did you learn about yourself in ministry?”
            • Lay Leader
              • “How does this ministry competency affect the People of God in the parish?”
            • Family
              • “How will this affect our family life?”
            • Peers
              • “What were the obstacles? The blessings? The challenges? The specific prayer?”
      • 2. Catechesis (Reflecting and integrating your early Christian formation with your present ministry)
      • 3. Calling (Reflecting and integrating on your vocation and your present ministry)
    • Second Quarter: Adjusting
      • 4. Family (how your marriage and family life find a healthy adjustment to the realities of pastoral ministry)
      • 5. Spirituality (how your daily, private spiritual rituals nurture your public ministry)
      • 6. Parish (exploring the dynamics of the pastor and congregation, local congregational leadership, denominational adjudicatory, other clergy, civil authorities, possibilities for collegial relationships to enhance ministry)
    • Third Quarter: Self-awareness
      • 7. Visitation (integrating theology and practice at the bedside)
      • 8. Counseling (conducting pastoral diagnoses and Biblical counseling with an emphasis upon self-reflection and your dependence upon the work of the Spirit of God and the means of grace in your counseling)
      • 9. Pulpit (growing in self-awareness concerning your own unique voice as you integrate your “one sermon” with the unique place where God has called you)
    • Fourth Quarter: Praxis
      • 10. Word (public reading of Scripture, prayer, preaching publicly and from house to house)
      • 11. Sacrament (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper)
      • 12. Prayer (cultivating life-long habits of the mind and heart)
  • Leviticus commentary
    • Contract with Christian Focus Publications
  • The Kennedy Institute leverages research and writing to produce resources that fulfill the vision and mission of The Institute. These resources include:
    • Reimagining Pastoral Education and Training: An initiative of supporting the Vision and Mission of the Institute by developing and deploying a multimodal system of education and training aimed at lifting the burden of pastoral burnout and its numerous pathological consequences. Specifically, Reimagining Pastoral Education and Training is the Institute’s comprehensive program of study and apprenticeship that supports the pastor (or other expressions of ordained ministry) and congregation from seminary internship (supervised ministry practicum for each seminary course) to residency (the first year following graduation from seminary, taking place at the newly ordained minister’s place of service; involving 12 pastoral competencies delivered online and on-the-ground, with a carefully designed system of [asynchronous online] lectures by senior practitioners, ministry experience with verbatim, and supervised theological reflection), fellowship (seminary + 5 years in which the minister enters a doctor of ministry [or similar] program for the purpose of theological reflection, vocational renewal, and scholarly contribution to an area of need in Gospel ministry), and lifelong learning (multimodal systems delivering needed courses of study and training to address clergy challenges through the pastoral lifecycle).
  • Products

Reformed & Evangelical

All denominations are welcome to this revival of ministerial apprenticeship. We hold to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms as the system of doctrine taught in Scripture. However, we do so within a plurality of other Bible-believing student-ministers.

Multimodal Teaching and Learning

“Multimodal” refers to a system of teaching and learning that recognizes differences in individual styles. We respond to this core principle by offering both conceptual and tactile learning materials and approaches. Multimodal also refers to the delivery system. Reimagining Pastoral Education and Training is a hybrid of the finest in online learning techniques and on-the-ground pastoral presence and supervision.

Outcomes to Sustain Ministry for a Lifetime of Service

Each of the four phases in the program is designed as interconnection, interdependent, and, yet, individual. From seminary to retirement and beyond, Reimagining Pastoral Education and Training aspires to “be there” for pastors, their families, and the congregations or ministries they serve.

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