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Seeking: Director, Cultivating the Gift of Preaching Initiative

Updated: Nov 15


The primary purpose of the Director of the Cultivating the Gift of Preaching (CGP) initiative is to coordinate this Compelling Preaching grant funded by the Lilly Endowment, as it identifies,

trains, and supports 140 new preachers through four eighteen-month cycles beginning in summer 2024.

The Director will initiate, facilitate, review, and improve the ministry, while coordinating a team of subject matter experts to work with participants. The Director will work closely with grant partners Alma College (annual conference host; content providers), Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary (theological acumen; leadership network), and the Presbytery of Cincinnati (back office support; mid-council advocacy) as well as the presbyteries of the Synod of the Covenant.


1. Implement the structure and execute the mission/vision for CGP, as described in the grant request, working closely with the dean of curriculum (the Synod executive) and grant partners.

2. Contract with church leaders to serve as preacher-mentors, guest homileticians, and conference leaders for program participants, and Alma College students to process written sermon feedback.

3. Initiate, learn from, and work alongside CGP Steering Team of constituents (alumni, presbytery leaders, etc.).

4. Keep thorough and accurate records for all activities and transactions, ensuring accuracy for audit purposes, and work closely with the Executive on reports and meetings with the Lilly Endowment.

5. In consultation with the Executive, Synod financial staff and finance committee, develop a working CGP budget and report any significant modifications from grant proposal to Lilly.

6. Publicize CGP offerings throughout the presbyteries of the Synod, including digital/written resources and travel to presbytery meetings and other gatherings.

7. Work in a collaborative and professional manner with the staff of the Synod and provide reports to the Leadership Committee and Assembly as needed.

8. Practice discernment and relationship-building with church leaders, participants, congregations, and presbyteries as well as grant partners Alma College and Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary.

9. Work with administrator to oversee and manage all details of the ministry.


The CGP Director reports to the Synod Executive, learns from/works alongside the CGP Steering Team and Grant Partners, regularly interacts with presbytery leaders and CREs, and supervises the CGP administrator.


The Director will regularly attend assembly, steering committee, and weekly Synod staff meetings. Almost all of these meetings are virtual.


The Synod provides a laptop computer, an office phone number, and a cellphone subsidy. A half-time administrator will support this ministry and position.

Qualifications, Skills and Experiences

  • Teaching or Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

  • Exceptional strategic, organizational, financial, and discernment skills.

  • Excellent initiative and networking, organizational, verbal & written communication skills.

  • Strong relational skills toward all constituents, serving with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love.

  • Commitment to Anti-Racism.

  • Successful Background check.

  • Willingness to travel throughout Ohio and Michigan for approximately two overnights per month

  • Preferred Experiences/Capacities

  • Academic background in Homiletics/Preaching.

  • Membership within the Synod of the Covenant (this position is remote so no specific locale is necessary/preferable within the geographic bounds of Synod)


This half-time position is budgeted at $35,000 annually, and includes full Board of Pensions benefits (retirement and health care) and continuing education and travel budgets.


The coordinator’s performance will be formally evaluated annually, with regular conversations about strengths and opportunities to improve along the way.

Application Information

Please send resume and cover letter to Executive Chip Hardwick, at Applications will be reviewed beginning December 1, 2023. Intended start date of early 2024. Questions? Call Chip at 309-530-4578. For information about the Synod, visit

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