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



Soderquist: Renew Couples Retreat

  • October 17-20, 2016 | Santa Fe, NM
  • Candidacy Summit for exploring candidates in ministry

Click here to learn more

Candidacy Summits

  • January 13-15, 2017 | Columbia, MO
  • July 27-29, 2017 | Columbia, MO
  • Candidacy Summit for exploring candidates in ministry

Deadline to apply and register is Dec. 23

SoulConnections 2017

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

Learn more about SoulConnections

Women in Ministry Conference
Unlock the Power

  • March 13-14, 2017 | Columbia, MO

Check out the Facebook event

2017 Licensing School
May 21-26, 2017 | Central Methodist University