Walt Kindergan, Senior M.Div. student, represented The General Theological Seminary at the annual Seminarian Leadership Conference held September 11-13, 2013 at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. Twenty seminarians from eleven different seminaries attended. The leadership conference is held each year to bring together seminarian leaders from each of the Episcopal seminaries to meet each other and to hear speakers address leadership topics. The conference is organized by seminarians and is held at a different seminary each year. Last year it was held at Virginia Theological Seminary. Housing is typically provided with families and/or students of the hosting seminary.
This year the conference presenters were Bishop Dorsey McConnell of the Diocese of Pittsburgh and Bishop Greg Brewer of the Diocese of Central Florida. Each bishop led two discussions about pastoral leadership in the church today and each provided very inspiring messages. Bishop McConnell addressed the essentials of parish ministry and pastoral leadership. In his first session, when speaking about preaching, he said, “preach to the neediest person in the room – and that had better be you.” Bishop Brewer spoke about what leadership “is” and what leadership “does.” In his first session, Brewer said that “leadership is continuing to say ‘yes’ to the becoming work of God.”
In addition to the discussions, the seminarians went to chapel together, lunched together, attended two scheduled social events, heard presentations by Trinity Faculty and participated in a round-table discussion, ending the conference at noon on Friday.
Next year the Seminarian Leadership Conference will be held at Bexley Hall Seabury-Western Seminary, either in Columbus, Ohio or Chicago.