1 Peter 5:2
“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you.”
Our mission is to prepare recent seminary graduates and local church elders for the pastoral work of ministry.
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.
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.
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. (At this point there is no proposed budget for the institute.)
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
The 12 month training and mentoring program will be developed by Dr. Milton and Rev. Jones. The curriculum will include:
In-depth teaching on the core competencies from leading pastoral practitioners provided via asynchronous delivery on our learning management system (LMS).
Fellows create a carefully documented record of each month’s core competency area that is, then, used for discussion, theological reflection, and learning from senior fellows and supervisors.
Fellows bring their verbatim, readings, and reflections with them to think through a series of carefully crafted questions by supervisors, peers, and family members, respectively.
Appropriate pre-produced video teaching segments.
Monthly online cohort discussions provide an opportunity to learn in community with other fellows. Competencies are shaped in community under the guidance of a senior fellow.
Monthly, personal interaction with a senior fellow, like Dr. Milton, Dr. George Grant, or another qualified pastor-scholar.
Final project encompassing a pastoral response to a real-world church issue.
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
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.
Do you have questions regarding the D. James Kennedy Institute? We would be happy to help. Please contact us through the form provided below.