What to Know Before Applying

What is Expected of Participants

  • Participants are expected to make every effort to attend a one-day orientation (typically held the November prior to the beginning of the cohort), all ten campus sessions (2-3 days each), and both study tours (approximately 7 and 12 days) over the course of two years. All participants are required to arrive Monday evening and stay overnight at Wabash College for each campus session.

We recognize that real emergencies arise in congregations and families that create scheduling conflicts. Should those arise, we ask that participants discuss them with the Director or Associate Director. If conflicting plans or responsibilities regularly inhibit a pastor’s full participation, the pastor may need to withdraw from the program.

  • Regular sessions of the program will occur on weekdays. Participants will need to be away from their congregations on three or four Sundays (total) during the two study tours. The Program will make grants to participants’ congregations to cover pulpit supply and related mileage for those Sundays.
  • Participants will be expected to identify, design, and implement a convening conversation leadership project in their local community, in partnership with the Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse Fellows.
  • After every session and study tour, participants will be asked to complete an online evaluation within 10 days. Evaluations should take 20 minutes to complete.
  • After four of the topical sessions, each study tour, and the final session of the cohort, participants will be asked to write a 250-500-word reflection based on an insight, idea, or question that grew out of the session or study tour, and to submit within a four week timeframe for use as future blog posts on the program website.
  • Program participants will be asked to create three 60-second videos over the two years of the cohort, which will be used on social media and/or the Program website. (Videos do not need to be professionally filmed—using a smart phone or computer camera is suitable.)
  • Between sessions and prior to study tours, participants will be asked to read a book and/or articles supplied by the Program, and to be prepared to discuss the readings during the next session.
  • Prior to each session, participants will be encouraged to take a community leader out to lunch to discuss the upcoming topic and learn more about the needs and assets in the community. (For example, invite a hospital CEO, nurse, or physician prior to the Healthcare session, etc.) The Program will reimburse the participant for these lunches.
  • In year one of the program, participants will be assigned to a small group by geographic region and will be asked to visit one another to learn about each other’s congregations and communities.
  • Participants will sign up to lead morning devotions for the group once or twice during their time in the program.

Free Resource

How to Engage Your Community's Leaders

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My own engagement in the local community has shifted substantially during my participation in the WPLP. My children know their way around city hall as they’ve been dragged to a wide variety of Human Rights Commission, City Council, etc. meetings.  I’ve made phone calls and sent notes of encouragement to the Police Chief, Mayor, etc, which would never have happened before.  I’ve said to my congregation again and again –the WPLP has put me in the presence of so many folks I don’t naturally feel the “right” to interact with, and it’s emboldened me!

Erica Gibson Even, Valparaiso, Indiana

WPLP Stories