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Free Range Priest 101: Sustainable Ministry in the Digital Age

March 23 – May 18, 2020

We live in a church where only about half of all congregations can afford a full-time clergy salary, and where a growing number of clergy are not paid at all for the work they do bearing the sacraments, Scripture, and traditions of the faith. The institutional church no longer works like it used to, and like so many vocations, clergy must learn to adapt to new, challenging, and exciting ways of bringing their gifts to the world. But what does this look like?

In this course, we will start reimagining the context and scope of ministry in the digital age – how sharing Good News can be sustainable for clergy, life-giving for congregations, and life-changing for the growing number of those who are seeking a deeper relationship with God beyond church walls. Students will consider conceptual and practical steps to serving the church within and beyond the traditional congregational model, online and in-person, and how to build a ministry that serves others while also allowing clergy to support themselves and their families. 

This is primarily a video-based course, based on 4 Key Concepts: Identity – what is your ministry? Technology – how do you share it? Sustainability – how are you compensated for it? Good News – with whom do you share it? The final project is to create a roadmap for future ministry – sustainable part-time, digital ministry, or other creative ministry, and consider the questions and challenges around implementing a new concept of clergy leadership.

Instructor: Fr. Cathie Caimano

The Rev. Catherine Caimano (‘Fr. Cathie’) is celebrating her 20th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. She graduated from the General Theological Seminary in 1999, and served parishes in New York City, Durham, NC, and Wichita, KS, before joining the staff of Bp. Michael Curry when he served as the Bishop of North Carolina. Since 2016, Fr. Cathie has been a Free Range Priest – helping clergy and congregations navigate the 21st century church and world, reimagining sustainable part-time ministry and creative online ministry. She is a teacher, coach, and consultant to clergy, congregations, dioceses and denominations