Pastoral Residency Program
Sustainable in Ministry Intentional in Reflection
Healthy in Practices Joyful in Service Faithful in Leadership
The mission of the Pastoral Residency Program is to provide a first call experience in which recent seminary graduates can practice and cultivate the art of pastoral ministry in a healthy congregation. While residents have been fully prepared for ministry by their seminary education and Member in Discernment process, they wish to intentionally continue their pastoral formation while serving in a local church. Our goal is to enable new clergy to build the kind of skills and practices, both professional and personal, which will provide a firm foundation for a lifetime of fruitful and faithful service to the church.
As full-time pastors, our Pastoral Residents participate in all aspects of the life of the congregation. Each resident will have multiple experiences in six essential areas of pastoral leadership: Worship, Faith Formation, Pastoral Care, Transformational Leadership, Mission/Justice and Professional Development. Residents have the experience of both stepping into existing ministries and forming new ones. We intentionally leave space in our Residents' portfolios so they, and we, can be responsive to the Spirit's movement among us. With a staggered call process, our two residents have the opportunity to progress in their learning, development and leadership while having the support of a peer.
In a time when the very nature of ministry and church life are rapidly changing, we believe that the church needs pastors who can lead adaptively, while being fully grounded in God. Through the program, residents will develop skills in self-differentiated and transformational leadership, finding healthy rhythms for professional and personal wellbeing, engaging ministry at the margins, and collaborating with ministry partners—both pastoral and lay.
In 2001, Village Church was selected by the Lilly Endowment to sponsor a Pastoral Residency Program. Through the Pastoral Residency, we seek to build on strong seminary experiences by providing some of the next generation’s most promising pastoral leaders an extraordinary entrance into ministry. Over the course of two years, Pastoral Residents work full-time, gaining experience in the full range of pastoral responsibilities in our healthy, dynamic congregation while receiving the support of experienced pastoral mentors. The primary purpose of the program is to enable new clergy to build the kind of skills and practices, both pastoral and personal, which will provide a firm foundation for ministry in years to come.
The congregation, of course, benefits as well from the ministries of the Residents. Over the decade of its existence, the Pastoral Residency Program has generated a culture of learning that extends throughout our life together, making Village Church an even more exciting place to worship and to serve.
Sean Patrick Coady, Our 2018-2021 Pastoral Resident!
On June 10, 2018, the congregation joyfully called Sean Patrick Coady to be our next Pastoral Resident. Originally from the Boston area, Sean Patrick is a recent graduate of Yale Divinity School and spent the last seven months studying theology and language in Germany. He is married to Steven Belnavis.
Sean Patrick began his ministry with us on August 20, 2018 will serve until June 2021.
Rev. Bob Feeny, Our 2019-2022 Pastoral Resident!
In July of 2019, Rev. Bob Feeny was joyfully welcomed by the staff and congregation of Village Church to be our next Pastoral Resident. Bob grew up in the small town of Pittsfield New Hampshire before moving to Plymouth to study English at Plymouth State University and then eventually relocating to the Windy City to pursue a Master of Divinity at the University of Chicago Divinity School, focusing on theological ethics.
Rev. Feeny was ordained on Sunday, August 16th, 2020 in a hybrid live-streamed service at his home church in Plymouth, NH. The service was broadcast on the Wellesley Village Church YouTube channel and is viewable on this Link to the YouTube view of Rev. Feeny's livestream Ordination >
We are grateful to have Bob serving Village Church as well as our partner church, CCW (Congregational Church or Weston) until June of 2022.
Through the following videos, we invite you to meet some of our former Pastoral Residents and hear a bit about who they are, what they're doing now, and how their time in the Pastoral Residency Program at Village Church shaped their ministries.