Pastoral Excellence

The Center for Pastoral Excellence is responsible for enhancing pastoral effectiveness through continuing education events, peer learning, coaching, and training. Our goal is to support transformative leadership processes for clergy. The Center provides options designed to equip and develop pastors to lead congregational growth.

The Director for Pastoral Excellence, along with the appointive Cabinet and the Board of Ordained Ministry, work to develop the processes of entering ministry, licensing and ordination, and equipping laity as pastoral leaders. In addition, the Center emphasizes the development and recruitment of younger and more diverse pastoral leadership.

Karen Hayden Trudy
Rev. Karen Hayden
Director of Pastoral Excellence
Email: Karen Hayden


Trudy McManus
Clergy Relations and Benefits Administrator
Email: Trudy McManus


Jenny Gragg Susan Brandes
Jenny Gragg
Executive Assistant for Pastoral Excellence / Conference Candidacy Coordinator
Email: Jenny Gragg


Susan Brandes
Hospitality and Events Coordinator
Email: Susan Brandes



Mentor Palooza

  • February 16, 2017
  • 5 Missouri Locations

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Soderquist: Renew Couples Retreat

  • February 20-23, 2017 | Greystone Estate, Rogers, AR

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SoulConnections 2017

  • Retreat: February 27-28, 2017 | First UMC (Jefferson City)

Learn more about SoulConnections

MO Explo 

  • March 11, 2017 | Columbia, Missouri

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Women in Ministry Conference
Unlock the Power

  • March 13-14, 2017 | Columbia, MO

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2017 Licensing School 

  • May 21-26, 2017 | Central Methodist University

Candidacy Summits

  • July 27-29, 2017 | Columbia, MO
  • Candidacy Summit for exploring candidates in ministry

2017 Exploration 

  • November 3-5, 2017 | Portland, Oregon

Learn more here