GROVE CITY – The Project on Rural Ministry is looking for a few good pastors to be part of a collaborative effort to strengthen churches and communities in western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, eastern Ohio and southwestern New York.
The project is assembling a group of 30 pastors of broadly evangelical Christian congregations in the region to join in an innovative initiative to examine and address an array of social, economic and ministry challenges unique to rural areas. Grove City College is administering the PRM, which is funded by a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Participating pastors will benefit from a fully funded student internship, a service-learning project suited to each pastor’s local context, engagement in an online networking community, fellowship with other rural and small town pastors, a chance to interact with experts in fields like ministry, social work, and entrepreneurship and more. There is no cost to ministers or their churches to participate in the PRM. Interested pastors have until April 26 to apply.
The PRM’s service area includes agricultural, rust belt and Appalachian communities in 35 counties in four states:
• In Pennsylvania: Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Warren, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
• In West Virginia: Brooke, Doddridge, Hancock, Harrison, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Preston, Taylor, Tyler and Wetzel counties.
• In Ohio: Ashtabula, Belmont, Columbiana, Jefferson, Mahoning, Monroe and Trumbull counties.
• In New York: Chautauqua County.
“We are seeking solo or senior pastor participants who are excited about the prospect of collaborating with one another and with our faculty and students to strengthen local ministry in rural and small town contexts,” Charles Cotherman, administrative director of the PRM, said.
The PRM’s mission is to learn more about rural ministry from the very people who do it — pastors — and help build partnerships between college, church and community. The effort is grounded in the idea that Christian colleges are uniquely positioned to amplify the voices, strengthen the networks and facilitate the ongoing learning of local pastors and ministry leaders.