About the Program

The Ockenga Fellows Program identifies fifteen high-potential, early-career New England pastors (between 5 and 10 years of ministry experience) to participate as cohorts in a two-year program consisting of five, three-day retreats and one study abroad trip to China.


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


The total cost per individual for this two-year program is $2,000. Payments can be made in $250 quarterly installments. Need-based scholarships are available. Contribution to this cost from the participant's church is encouraged but not required. Included in the cost of the program is:

  • Five, three-day/two-night retreats including room and meals
  • Reading materials for each retreat
  • Opportunity to engage with culture-shaping leaders in roundtable discussions in small, closed-group settings
  • Twelve-day study trip to China
  • One year advanced standing in Gordon-Conwell's Doctor of Ministry Program (Ministry in New England Track)

Doctor of Ministry Advanced Standing

Gordon-Conwell is pleased to announce the potential for those who have completed the Ockenga Fellows Program to pursue Advanced Standing in our Doctor of Ministry program.* Upon qualifying, this movement enables a continued journey in pastoral ministry in the New England context.

*Students must possess an ATS Board of Commissioners-approved MDiv or its educational equivalent from an institution of higher education accredited by a US agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or approved by a Canadian provincial quality assurance agency. See GCTS Doctor of Ministry admissions policy here.