When you join the Academy of Parish Clergy, you will have the opportunity to be part of a supportive, caring, network of fellow members who pray together, learn with each other, and propel one another to excellence in ministry. You will be connected to an interfaith group of faith leaders who care about you. Here is how one of our members described his experience:
One of the hardest parts of my ministry was feeling a lack of support. Neighboring clergy friends would listen sympathetically, but they could not help me navigate challenges in my church. Denominational executives also listened, but they could not (or would not) step in to assist. I felt abandoned. On a whim, I attended the annual conference of the Academy of Parish Clergy. At one casual gathering, some members of the Academy asked me about my story. I began to tell them about my frustrations in ministry, the pains from serving in my congregation, and the friction with church staff members. When I was done, one of the long-timers in the group started laughing. Turning to his friend, he said, “Hey, you had one of those churches, too? Remember.” Seasoned faith leaders began exposing their ministry-gone-bad stories. To this day, it remains one of the most comforting and healing experiences of my ministry. Hearing their stories, I no longer felt alone. I had some hope that I would not only survive, but perhaps I would also be able to forgive myself and others. And maybe someday I’d be able to laugh about it, too.
Other members join because they want to contribute to our quarterly journal, Sharing The Practice. A subscription is included with your annual membership. The journal includes articles that foster excellence in the practice of ministry, as well as a number of thorough reviews of recent books on ministry. Members may also write books for our “Conversations in Ministry” or “Guides to Practical Ministry” series, in partnership with Energion Publications.
APC Members form communities of practice in which we engage in activities and discussions, mutual support, and resource sharing. We build peer relationships that help us to learn from each other. Members continue to develop a shared repertoire of experiences, stories, tools, and ways of addressing recurring challenges in this complicated and fulfilling calling we call “ministry.”