The Ethnic Leadership Development Initiative, led by the USA/Canada Multicultural Ministries team, recently graduated its second cohort with 14 participants. The project aims to intentionally develop leaders from the various ethnic ministry groups under the umbrella of Multicultural Ministries.
Participants are recommended by ethnic facilitators and are invited to apply to the program. Applicants are then screened by the program coaches and directors — Certified Professional Leadership Coach Errol Carrim and Northwest Nazarene University Associate Professor of Practical Theology Rhonda Carrim.
Cohort 2 began last fall when participants met at the Global Ministry Center in Lenexa, Kansas. At this initial gathering, participants received an orientation on the focus and purpose of the program, including connecting these young leaders to one another and to regional and global leaders in the broader church.
“It was encouraging for me to meet others on the same path that I’m on in ministry,” said Jeremy Parquet, one of the Cohort 2 graduates.
Graduate Ronglan Huang also felt encouraged by connecting with others in the program.
“[I had] a sense of belonging in a group of strangers,” Huang said. “I found true self from the people I have never met before.”
The program brings together the skills, past experiences, behavior patterns, and emotional or psychological wounds of the leaders to enable them to live and serve out of their best selves. Many leaders struggle not because they lack the skills to lead but because they have not adequately addressed their mental health and the impact it has on their lives.
“I have been a pastor for 13 years, and this cohort could not have come at a better time for me,” said Gabriela Rodriquez, another graduate. “It taught me the importance of self-care, self-awareness, and Sabbath observance. I learned a lot about myself as a leader, my strengths and potential pitfalls. I have grown a lot through this process and thank the Lord for this great opportunity.”
Following the initial gathering at the GMC, each participant was coached monthly over the phone or online. During these coaching sessions, participants were led to reflect on areas of personal awareness, spiritual practices, and situations in ministry.
The graduation ceremony was held in conjunction with Nazarene Theological Seminary’s Preachers Conference to debrief, to be encouraged to continue growing in their personal development, and to receive their graduation certificates.
“We are grateful to Dr. Roberto Hodgson and Multicultural Ministries USA/Canada for the opportunity to share life with such outstanding young leaders from across the U.S. and Canada,” the Carrims said. “Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will continue to empower, encourage, and utilize each of these ministers of the gospel for the building up of Christ’s Church and to the glory of God!”