Continuing Education

The Great Plains Conference is committed to having clergy who are life-long learners. We believe that the life of a clergyperson is a spiritual journey of renewal and excellence in Jesus Christ. The responsibility of a clergyperson is to continue in study beyond the educational requirements for his/her clergy status (¶323.1a, b; 334.2d) and to demonstrate growth in professional competence and effectiveness.

This life-long learning is twofold: spiritual formation and professional development.

  • Spiritual formation is the intentional pursuit of the nourishment and renewal of one’s relationship with Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and the use of spiritual disciplines.
  • Professional development is the intentional growth of professional identity and the skills utilized in ministry that will enhance the effectiveness and excellence of the clergyperson. 

Save the date for the following continuing education opportunities for 2023:

  • Preachers Toolkit—a series of workshops and retreats to support clergy as they grow in their preaching
    • Passion for Preaching—a 5-part webinar for Early Career Pastors, January 24-May 23, $150 (register today to reserve your spot!)
    • A Time Apart, sermon and worship planning Retreat ($150 if you register by April 1)
      • Sunday, July 30 (5 p.m.)- Thursday, August 3 (3 p.m.)—St. Benedict’s Center, Schuyler, NE led by Rev. Dr. Theresa Mason
    • Humor Us! Preaching and the Power of the Comic Spirit, in conjunction with the Perkins Center for Preaching Excellence, coming Fall 2023
  • For Your Life Retreat $10, self-directed retreat held anytime as a solo or small group experience
    • Register here at least two weeks prior to when you want to retreat
  • Roots for Your Soul Retreat $50
  • Others Coming Soon! We’re working on several other retreats and programming!

The Clergy Excellence team hopes that you will take advantage of one of these retreats!

If you have questions about continuing education, contact the Rev. Ashlee Alley Crawford, director of Clergy Excellence, at

Read more about the Great Plains continuing education policy.

Continuing Education Report (fillable PDF)

View the new continuing education opportunity, Clergy Community of Practice groups.