About the Ockenga Fellows Program

The Ockenga Fellows Program identifies high-potential, early-career pastors to participate as cohorts in a two-year program consisting of seven three-day roundtables and one study abroad trip to China, all at no cost to each participant.

Click Here To Apply: The application deadline is April 1, 2016.


The mission of the Ockenga Fellows Program is to identify and nurture high-potential, early-career pastoral leaders during a critical time of ministry development. The program is intended to help them better engage with the culture of their churches and to address the social and ethical changes in the society surrounding around them.


  • Gain a deeper understanding of effective pastoral leadership in New England.

  • Engage early-career pastors with many of the worlds best civic, cultural and business voices.

  • Equip early-career pastors to understand local church idiosyncrasies.

  • Develop a cohesive cohort committed to serving alongside one another in long term ministry in New England.

  • Stimulate conversations between leaders in the church and leaders outside the church


Year One of Fellowship


Roundtable #1 - New England (September: 3 days/2 nights)

New England: A Unique Ministry Context – What is the Awakened Church and who is making a difference?

This roundtable will explore New England as a unique regional context for doing ministry. It will focus on the Silent Revival in the Boston urban church and the nature of institutional renewal, and will involve creating church profiles.

Roundtable #2 - Business and Work (November: 3 days/2 nights)

Business and Work: Entrepreneurism – Who is making a difference and what can we learn that has implications for the Church?

This roundtable will explore meaningful work and the world of the congregation from Monday–Friday. It will include a panel of Boston-based business entrepreneurs and discussion on the anatomy of a startup company.

Roundtable #3 - Science and Technology (February: 3 days/2nights)

Science and Technology: Living in a Technopoly – What are the challenges and promises of technology?

This roundtable will explore how people experience and manage a plugged-in world, the new media and your congregation, and living in a world dominated by science.

Roundtable #4 - Health Care and Bio-ethics (April: 3 days/2 nights)

Health Care and Bio-ethics: Are we really living in a Brave New World?

This roundtable will explore the nature of health and the politics and systems that support it, the brave new world of genetics and the ethical implications thereof.

Year Two of Fellowship


Seminar Abroad (September: 10 days/9 nights)

Global Context: Trip to China. What can we learn about churches in New England in light of the global church?

The purpose for the global experience is to create a broader, more comprehensive vision of the Kingdom of God for our early-career pastors which will lend perspective to the local contexts from which they come. The trip is intentionally placed at the beginning of year two, so that the group bonding which takes place on such a trip has the opportunity to enrich the remaining roundtable discussions. Pastors will have the opportunity to engage with both Three-Self and House Church pastors, and government and educational leaders.

China Debrief (1 Day)

A one-day debriefing session (including an overnight): What have we learned? This debrief will be built into the return trip from the seminar abroad.

Roundtable #5 (November: 3 days, 2 nights)

Government and Society: What is the church’s (pastor’s) role in the public square?

This roundtable will explore the following: making sense of and living in a highly politicized world - church and state in New England (has the church lost its birthright?).

Roundtable #6 (February: 3 days, 2 nights)

Education and Information: What is the future of education and how might this impact the church in New England?

This roundtable will explore what it means to be educated today, the politics of education (from online education to home-schooling and everything in between), the university without religion?

Roundtable #7 (April: 3 days, 2 nights)

Arts and Media: Athens and Jerusalem – Do you see, hear and feel what I see, hear and feel?

This roundtable will explore the ethics and politics of the aesthetic world, what is "beauty" and why it makes a difference, the place of the arts in the church.