Fellows in Marquand Chapel

The Leader’s Way

The Leader's Way Fellowship Program

The Leader’s Way 2025-2026 begins June 2025. Applications will open on October 1. Please email Brandon Nappi at brandon.nappi@yale.edu to be notified when applications open.

By far, the best continuing education I have ever had.

Kirk L. ’24

Berkeley Divinity School at Yale invites church leaders from all denominations to a pilgrimage for transforming ministry.

Leader’s Way Fellows imagine together how ministry can meet the needs of our time. Fellows spend one week at Yale together in June and one year in community through online programming. Fellows learn from Yale faculty and visiting luminaries. In online cohorts, they develop Innovative Ministry Projects over the course of the year to better serve their communities. At the end of the program, leaders are awarded a Yale certificate.

I feel a seismic shift in myself—in my confidence, my courage for trying new things, in connections with colleagues in ministry, in my outlook, and so much more that I readily attribute to The Leader’s Way program…I know I will continue to benefit for years to come as will, hopefully, my congregation and others to whom I minister.

Ann Tillman ’24

The Leader’s Way Certificate Program

The Leader’s Way is a pilgrimage for the soul, a hope-filled laboratory for experimentation, and a daring incubator for new possibilities in ministry. We seek clergy leaders eager to stand courageously at the intersection of faithfulness and innovation in the service of creating more vibrant Christian communities. Distinguished Yale faculty will help Fellows mine our theological past and present for resources that can inspire us to meet today’s challenges in fresh ways. By the end of the residential component of the program, each Fellow will have identified an innovative project he or she wishes to pursue to help propel the parish and/or larger community. Peer groups and mentors will support Fellows personally and professionally in addressing this challenge by applying the learnings from the program. 

This learning pilgrimage of spiritual renewal also provides opportunities to slow down, pray, and rest in ways that can be difficult in daily life. Through communal prayer, contemplative practice, and collaborative reflection, we’ll listen deeply for how we are being called, nurtured, and guided by the Spirit. And, we’ll do all this by co-creating spaces of belonging where we can laugh, share honestly, and develop authentic connection.

Following the six-day residential program, the Program will continue with monthly online learning since we know that leadership programs are most successful when there is intentional continuation where concepts can be united with active practice. Thus, Fellows will meet in mentor-led peer groups to support their particular project and to delve into skills-based advanced ministry and management topics.

There are no easy answers to the urgent challenges facing the Church and the world today. The climate crisis, racial injustice, epidemic loneliness, and the reality that many people struggle to understand the relevance of faith in daily life constitute an opportunity for profound reflection, reimagination, and recommitment for spiritual leaders everywhere. If you are ready to choose a hopeful future where inspiring communities of faith are fulfilling their promise to be catalysts for compassion, justice, and human thriving, we invite you to join our mission at Berkeley at Yale, and we’ll join yours.

The Leader's Way: A pilgrimage for transforming ministry

The Leader’s Way is a Yale University year-long Certificate Program.

Week in Residence

The Leader’s Way begins with a six-day residential program in the heart of Yale that integrates practical skill building, spiritual formation, and theological reflection. Yale’s renowned campus and rich resources will spark participants’ imagination. The multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary learning will include:

  • Inspiring Case Studies. We’ll study innovative examples where Episcopal faith communities have been formed and transformed as we contemplate what makes for durable change and imagine what innovations the Spirit might be inspiring in participants’ own communities.
  • Theological Reflection. Drawing on Yale’s distinguished faculty, we will explore fresh insights from recent scholarship that speak directly to the reality of parish life today.
  • Personal faith pilgrimage. This learning pilgrimage is also an intentional retreat for the heart and mind as we create the needed space for contemplative practice, silence, reflection, and communal prayer.

Online Sessions

July 2024-February 2025: Online monthly large group sessions follow for six months, with particular focus on advanced management skills that will propel effective change in communities.  Sessions will be held via Zoom from Noon-2:00 pm EST on July 23, 2024, September 24, 2024, October 22, 2024, November 19, 2024, December 17, 2024, January 21, 2025, February 18, 2025.  Sessions are synchronous but will be recorded for those with conflicts.

Mentoring and Cohorts

Mentoring and small group meetings provide support around the innovative project that Fellows have developed to meet an adaptive leadership challenge from their current ministry.

Tuition & Aid




Berkeley Divinity School at Yale does not want the cost of the program to be a disincentive to attending. We have need-based financial aid available in the form of 8 full scholarships, several partial scholarships, and limited travel reimbursements. Funding is limited and awarded on a rolling need basis, so we warmly encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

Application Process:

Please apply using the link on this webpage. We accept applicants on a rolling basis. Therefore, the sooner you complete the application, the better.  Admission to the Leader’s Way will be communicated on October 15, December 15, February 15, March 15, April 15, and May 15. The final application deadline is June 1.