1 Peter 5:2

“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you.”

Our Mission

Our mission is to prepare recent seminary graduates and local church elders for the pastoral work of ministry.

More Information Regarding our Mission

Our Vision

It is difficult to overstate the impact of D James Kennedy leadership on souls of men, the church, and practical theological education. His leadership style epitomizes faith applied by taking up the challenge of Romans 10:10 – and by personalizing and mobilizing the concept of the free offer of the gospel to all men. To that end, he created and applied culturally relevant methodologies to connect intellectual reason with faith and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As he practiced those principals in his own life and ministry, he exemplified the consummate Ephesians 4:12-16 “pastoral equipper” of the saints for service.


As a leader, Dr. Kennedy characteristically sustained focus on the authority of the Scripture and practice of sharing the Gospel at an individual level. Combined with practical tools and training, his own church grew and spiritual leadership multiplied around the globe – within and across denominational and cultural differences.


The legacy of D J Kennedy and spirit of the DJKIRL is to be the incubator for producing the next generation of like-minded men: in short,


This ministry exists to shepherd the shepherds who will shepherd the flock with faithful, sustainable spiritual and vocational health.


Outreach North America of the ARPC is honored to be the host of the next generation of Dr. Kennedy’s impact and legacy.

Our Goal
The goal of the Institute is to produce well rounded leaders with practical field knowledge and experience to augment their theological training.

From Dr. Michael Milton

The President of the D. James Kennedy Institute of Reformed Leadership

Dr. Kennedy was an incredible mentor. Dr. Kennedy once told me, “We must always aim to maximize and multiply every act of ministry—every sermon, every letter, every prayer, every visit— so that more people will hear the Gospel, more ministers will be trained, and all of this so that more souls will be gathered in heaven to give glory to God.” “Pastors must be trained for the high calling granted to them by Christ. We must prepare Christian shepherds for the dignity of the pulpit, the privilege of preaching, and the incomparable nobility inherent in being an Ambassador for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” The DJK Institute exists because of that vision. Mrs. Kennedy literally bequeathed that charge to me as we prayed in her living room about this Institute. The DJK Institute can never be separated from that legacy of training ministers who will train others to fulfill the Great Commission.


I pray that someone reading these words will contact us and join in a cohort. Invest the first year of your ministerial career in a residency that can bring a sustainable spiritual health to you, your family, and the church you serve, as well as the churches you will serve.


Live the legacy. Come and be a Kennedy Fellow. You will never regret time invested in your vocation for the glory of God and the greater advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is difficult to overstate the impact of D. James Kennedy’s leadership on souls of men, the church, and practical theological education.

- Mike Jones -

Executive Officer


Some initial funding will be provided from ONA (pending approval).  Secondary sources may also include Presbyteries and individual churches.  The institute should be self-funding within 5 years of launch.  Funding sources will also include gifts, capital funds/endowment development, tuition and general Synod support.


Staffing will initially be provided through the DJK Institute partnership under the direction of the Executive Committee and the Council of Advisors. The Institute will operate from the Greenville, SC office of Outreach North America of the ARPC. Dr. Milton will provide presidential guidance and oversight from his office in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Our adjunct faculty of Senior Fellows and Lecturers will contribute via our online learning management platform from around North America and the United Kingdom.


The D. James Kennedy Institute of Reformed Leadership is a partnership of Faith for Living, Inc., a 501(c)3 North Carolina religious nonprofit and Outreach North America (ONA), the “home missions” arm of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARPC). As such, the governance of the partnership will be an Executive Committee of the two bodies, with Dr. Michael A. Milton as Chairman and Rev. Mike Jones as Vice-Chairman. The Executive Committee will, also, Include, at least two more officers from both organizations. Our present Executive Committee includes Dr. Michael A. Milton, Chair; Rev. Mike Jones, Vice-Chair; Dr. George Grant, member; Rev. Jan Sattem, member.


The DJK Institute is guided by the support, wisdom, and vast collective experience of leading churchmen called the Advisory Council. Members of the Advisory Council include:

  • Mrs. Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy, emeritus (Daughter of Dr. and Mrs. D. James Kennedy)

  • Hon. Steve Maye, Moderator-retired, ARPC

  • Hon. Phillip Williams, Moderator-retired, ARPC

  • Dr. Leslie Holmes, Provost, Erskine Theological Seminary

  • Dr. R.J. Gore, Dean, Professor of Theology, Erskine Theological Seminary

  • Dr. George Grant, Senior Minister, Parish Presbyterian Church (PCA), Franklin, TN; member, Board of Directors, D. James Kennedy Ministries

  • Dr. James Carter, Executive Director, Presbyterian and Reformed Commission on Chaplains

Delivery System

The 12 month training and mentoring program will be developed by Dr. Milton and Rev. Jones.  The curriculum will include:

Graduate and Postgraduate Credit

Erskine Theological Seminary (and others) evaluate your work and award credit for Master of Divinity (for a “fourth-year” of seminary) or for advanced academic or professional degrees (e.g., ThM, DMin.). Check with Erskine Seminary at https://seminary.erskine.edu or with your own school.


The outcomes for the DKJ Institute for Pastors in Residence are stated, measurable outcomes. The pastoral student will have integrated a theological concept through experience in the parish under supervision with a verbatim and reflection with a peer, a lay mentor, a clergy mentor, and spouse addressing the following and demonstrating the following:


Reflecting on your own sacred encounter with the risen Christ and
that encounter’s continuing formation on your present ministry


Reflecting and integrating your early Christian formation with
your present ministry


Reflecting and integrating on your vocation and your present ministry


How your marriage and family life find a healthy adjustment to the realities of
pastoral ministry


How your daily, private spiritual rituals nurture your public ministry


Integrating theology and practice at the bedside


Exploring the dynamics of the pastor and congregation, local congregational
leadership, denominational adjudicatory, other clergy, civil authorities, possibilities
for collegial relationships to enhance ministry


Conducting pastoral diagnoses and Biblical counseling with an emphasis
upon self-reflection and your dependence upon the work of the Spirit of God and the means of grace in your counseling


Growing in self-awareness concerning your own unique voice as you integrate
your “one sermon” with the unique place where God has called you


Public reading of Scripture, prayer, preaching publicly and from house to


Baptism and the Lord’s Supper


Cultivating life-long habits of the mind and heart

The Statement of Faith of the DJK Institute is the Holy Bible as interpreted by the ecumenical creeds (the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed) and the Westminster Confession of Faith with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. The application of that faith necessarily varies according to the gifts and graces, the convictions and contexts of ministers, presbyteries, synods, and assemblies. The Institute, thus, does not promote one of the several applications of ministry with Reformed churches (e.g., a particular liturgical style or a counseling methodology), but acknowledges the liberty and responsibility of each Kennedy Fellow to do so, always with Christian charity towards one another.

Contact Form

Do you have questions regarding the D. James Kennedy Institute? We would be happy to help. Please contact us through the form provided below.

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