New Frontiers Helping pastors thrive in their ministry

New Frontiers is a free, yearlong program that helps pastors thrive as they chart their vocational course. 

Through new and diverse friendships, mentorship, retreat, and intellectual exploration, New Frontiers gives pastors practical tools for responding to God's call to creative ministry. Closely related to Westmont's liberal-arts mission and hosted by the Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts, New Frontiers will especially benefit professionals in their first years of ministry, or anyone seeking rejuvenation and refreshment as they imagine new possibilities for their own engagement in the church and the church's service in the world.

2024-25 Cohort Retreat Schedule

  • August 5-8, 2024 (Westmont College)
  • November 11-14, 2024 (The Oaks, San Diego)
  • May 19-22, 2025 (Westmont College)

Apply Now | 24-25 Cohort Refer a Pastor to the Program Contact Us

My time at New Frontiers upended my expectations—of people, of God, and of the Church. Through this group and experience the Spirit opened my eyes to see and my ears to hear that I am not alone in this calling.

- Kallie Pitcock, Pastor, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Nacogdoches, TX

Find space for new vision in your ministry.

A life in ministry is uniquely rewarding and uniquely challenging. New Frontiers supports pastors by connecting them with diverse peers who can understand and illumine the journey, with experienced pastoral mentors who can help them navigate the path, and with Christian scholars and nonprofit workers who can expand their horizons for ministry—all within the context of restorative and engaging retreats.

Develop Diverse Friendships

Pastors are surrounded by people from week to week, but can easily feel isolated in their work—isolated from others who understand the joys and struggles of ministry, isolated from the world beyond their own narrow church or denominational contexts, isolated from friends with whom they can share their work honestly and confidentially. New Frontiers combats isolation by promoting supportive friendship among a close cohort of diverse peers who experience the world of congregational ministry from many different perspectives.

Connect with Experienced Mentors

A career in ministry includes many challenges and changes—these shape a pastor’s sense of what the church is about, how it should do its work, and how individuals can be effective in its collective life. New Frontiers connects pastors to seasoned mentors who are further down the path, who’ve experienced transitions in the church and its ministry, and who can be wise conversation partners as the church confronts new challenges.

Find Intellectual Renewal

The Christian Gospel has relevance for every dimension of human life. Amidst the pressures of ministry, though, it takes real energy and imagination to continue to explore the broad implications of the good news we have in Christ. New Frontiers encourages pastors in intellectual renewal through faith-and-learning workshops, complimentary access to conferences and talks offered at Westmont, and more.

Be Refreshed through Retreat

We do much of the above during three multi-day retreats in California's Central Coast region, where you'll enjoy opportunities to reflect on your ministry, listen for God's promptings, and find rejuvenation in a glorious natural setting.

It's very helpful to be around others in ministry—I've found myself energized and re-energized each time. There is movement of the Holy Spirit in my life, and I think part of that is what happens in this group.

- Brett Stuvland, Lead Pastor, Westside Journey United Methodist Church, Beaverton

Besides the content, I loved laughing my head off at dinner with new friends and connecting with peers and mentors. I also so appreciated the time to reflect from afar on my ministry, giving me new eyes to see when I get back home.

Kelsey Guckenberger, Pastor, Christ Community Church, Des Moines

More Information

New Frontiers will be especially useful to those who seek new relationships and ideas as they extend the horizons of their ministry. This might especially describe congregational-ministry professionals in their first decade of service; however, professionals at every stage in their ministry careers, especially those re-envisioning the basic shape of their ministry, are welcome to apply.

In the firm belief that more and broader perspectives are necessary to perceive and respond to the movement of God's Spirit, New Frontiers intentionally assembles cohorts that are diverse across denominational, racial/ethnic, geographic, and gender lines. We welcome participants from all Christian backgrounds, all ordination statuses, and all pastoral ranks and specialties; participants should expect to learn and benefit from interaction with branches of the Christian family that are quite different from their own.

By the terms of our funding agreement, New Frontiers is open to congregational-ministry professionals who live and work in the United States, either temporarily or permanently.

New Frontiers participants gather in California for three multi-day retreats, meet monthly (online or in person, as opportunity allows) for individual and group mentoring conversations, and have complimentary access to optional academic and pastoral conferences at Westmont College. Retreats typically begin on Monday afternoon and end Thursday mid-morning; they include conversation, recreation, workshops, and prayer and worship opportunities.

  • August 5-8, 2024 (Westmont College)
  • November 11-14, 2024 (The Oaks, San Diego)
  • May 19-22, 2025 (Westmont College)

Thanks to the generosity of Lilly Endowment Inc., Westmont College is able to provide this program to ministry professionals at no cost. Travel, lodging, food, and all program activities are included for free with registration, and we offer support for caretaking expenses incurred by participants (for childcare, pet-sitting, house-sitting, etc.).

You can download our application form here. Please return to by June 30, 2024.