First Call Pastors Writing Contest 2011


To pastors serving their first parish or who have recently completed a first call pastorate. Please submit an article for the Academy's quarterly journal Sharing the Practice that will illumine the unique challenge(s) of the "first call" pastorate as it relates to emergent/post-institutional church issues in these times of change.


Any pastor who has been serving a first pastorate for one year or more or has completed such pastorate within the last year by time of submission. Open only to pastors serving parish congregations.

Focus Questions:

What does emergent church/post-institutional church mean to you and your congregation, and what claim do biblical and theological traditions have upon ministry in this context?


What are the definitive and disturbing elements in the future church emerging in these changing times?


Reframing Hope, Faith, Church: What is a description of your ministry moving into the future as you understand it?

Consider the following points of interest to our readers when writing your article:

  • Push theological boundaries.
  • Your reflection on the interplay of contemporary context & biblical/theological traditions.
  • Use transformative experiences, surprises of grace, and theological growth.
  • Process of leadership, decision-making, planning, and implementation toward mission and ministry.
  • The role of lay leadership, member involvement, congregational decision-making, as well as pastoral support and leadership.
  • Demons you may have confronted, obstacles overcome by the power of prayer and courageous action.

Give specific examples and go deep in explaining dynamics. You may focus on change in the culture of congregation and an evolving style of ministry. You may describe the development of a specific ministry or mission.


Two articles will be selected for the Spring 2012 issue of Sharing the Practice. Writers of selected articles will receive free registration ($230) & reimbursement for travel (up to $370) to the Annual Conference of the Academy at Bergamo Center in Dayton OH, May 8-10, 2012. Rev. Carol Howard Merritt, Conference Presenter.


February 1, 2012


Articles in the range of 1500 to 2500 words should be submitted in MS Word format to Rev. Bill Youngkin at with a short biography, including professional ministry history, ordination/authorization date as well as authorizing body attached to your submission.

Additional information available from Rev. Bill Youngkin at

Download 2011 Writing Contest Flyer

The Academy for Parish Clergy (APC)
APC promotes Growth toward excellence in ministry with clergy serving in various faith communities. Members value honest and affirming dialogue, collegiality, and continued enhancement of pastoral skills and competency. Activities of the Academy include the publication of a quarterly journal Sharing the Practice, a national Annual Conference, regional colleague groups, Pastor of the Year and Book of the Year Awards, and the opportunity for members to be recognized as Fellows for their discipline, study, and practice of excellence in ministry.

Website Design and Maintenance by Andrew Lehman Design