‘In Support of Excellence’ program details

Funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders, American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) new “In Support of Excellence” program puts pastors first.


ABHMS seeks to empower pastoral leaders to overcome economic challenges and achieve financial freedom. The program will utilize education, professional coaching and collegial support groups to help alleviate the economic challenges and related stress experienced by pastoral leaders. It aims to equip American Baptist pastors and lay leaders with the knowledge, skills and tangible resources to help ameliorate financial burdens and catalyze emerging leaders to drive transformative impact in churches and communities.

Benefits of participation:group of women in conversation

  • deeper appreciation by lay leaders of how pastoral excellence can be supported when a pastoral leader’s financial needs are met;
  • access to personal financial hardship relief grants for pastoral leaders and their families to help alleviate their own particular economic challenges;
  • access to more than 20 hours of ongoing one-on-one coaching with a certified financial planner;
  • coach-provided personal and congregational financial empowerment planning designed to meet participants’ specific needs;
  • training in concrete personal and nonprofit financial management best practices for both pastors and lay leaders;
  • expedited enrollment into the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board retirement plan (optional);
  • access to financial management software for both personal and congregational use; and
  • support in developing pastoral self-care with both short- and long-term plans.

In Support of Excellence logo for websiteTo qualify, an applicant must have the following:

  • an active pastoral leader’s profile in the American Baptist Personnel System (ABPS);
  • ability to drive spirit-led dialogue that transforms individuals, congregations and communities;
  • commitment to leading with both strength and humility;
  • self-awareness and commitment to appropriate boundaries; and
  • commitment to lifelong learning.


Read about the “In Support of Excellence” national launch.


For more information, contact the Rev. Jamaal Nelson, program director, at [email protected] or 610-768-2491.