Center for Thriving Leaders - Grace Theological Seminary Skip to content

Center for Thriving Leaders

Center for Thriving Leaders

Equipping a Generation of Ministry Leaders

What is the Center for Thriving Leaders?

The Center for Thriving Leaders assists local churches within the Charis Fellowship to flourish by serving church planters and helping local churches renew and revitalize.

The Center, located at Grace Theological Seminary, offers programs to equip and encourage church planters and ministry leaders through mentor-based cohorts, annual events and retreats, ongoing training sessions, a repository of presentation topics, and academic, spiritual, mental, and essential ministry programs.

What we offer

Pastoral Cohorts
We will oversee the development of cohort leaders and general oversight of the groups’ efficiency.

Retreats & Conferences
We will host and participate in intentional gatherings of pastors and church planters for the purposes of edifying and equipping.

Educational Opportunities
We offer masters and doctorate degree concentrations in renewal/revitalization and church planting in traditional hybrid and online modalities.

Ministry Development
We will provide a variety of intentional events for spiritual and leadership growth such as symposiums, colloquiums, reading groups, think tanks, and seminary chapels.

Thriving Leaders Network
We will provide a community of learning, resources, and equipping for ministry leaders through these quarterly events.

Mental and Spiritual Care
We offer counseling services for ministry leadership in all areas of mental and spiritual health.

Essentials in Ministry Training
We offer training courses in non-negotiables in local church ministry that help you to shepherd your people well and safe-guard your church.

Upcoming Events

Center for Thriving Leaders event put on by Grace Theological Seminary

Join us April 17th with speaker Dr. Douglas Moo. “The letters of Paul are fertile soil for the proclamation of the gospel in our day. Using Philippians as a test case, we will look at some of the challenges facing the preacher who wants to proclaim Paul’s message faithfully today – and suggest ways of meeting those challenges! At the same time, we hope to stir excitement about the ways Paul’s message can transform congregations.” – Dr. Moo


Douglas J. Moo is New Testament Professor Emeritus from Wheaton College. He taught at Wheaton for 23 years after teaching for 24 years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (where he also served as chair of the New Testament Department, editor of Trinity Journal, and director of the PhD program in Biblical and Theological Studies). At Wheaton, he taught in the masters and PhD programs and mentored PhD students. Doug is also a member of the Committee on Bible Translation, the independent body of scholars which has oversight of the New International Version. He has been on the committee since 1996 and chaired the committee from 2005 to 2023. He has lectured widely on translation issues and has written several articles on translation, including “We Still Don’t Get It: Evangelicals and Bible Translation Fifty Years After James Barr” (available at

He has written or co-written fifteen books, including The Old Testament in the Gospel Passion Narratives (1983; reprint, 2008), A Theology of Paul and his Letters (2021), with D. A. Carson, Introduction to the New Testament (rev. ed., 2005), and, with his son Jonathan Moo, Creation Care: A Biblical Theology of the Natural World. He has been especially active in writing commentaries: The Epistle of James (Tyndale New Testament Commentary, 1985; rev. ed., 2015), Romans 1-8 (Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary, 1991), A Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (New International Commentary on the New Testament, 1996; rev. ed., 2018), 2 Peter, Jude (NIV Application Commentary, 1996), The Epistle of James (Pillar Commentary, 2000; rev. ed., 2021), Romans (NIV Application Commentary, 2000), Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (2002; rev. ed., 2014),), The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon (Pillar New Testament Commentary, Eerdmans, 2008), Galatians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, 2013), and Hebrews (ZECNT), forthcoming.

Doug lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Jenny. Together, they enjoy traveling and nature photography (see They have five grown children, all married, and thirteen grandchildren.

Thriving Leaders Network

  • April 17th 2024, 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM Westminster West Hall
  • June 2024 (date TBD), 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM Westminster West Hall
  • November 2024 (date TBD), 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM Westminster West Hall

Charis Fellowship Conference

  • July 9th-11th, 2024 Grace Polaris Church in Columbus, Ohio

Charis Fellowship Focus Retreats

  • Southwest Retreat January 29th-31st, 2024
  • South Retreat March 4th-6th, 2024

Four Things You Can Do To Jump Start the Revitalization of Your Church

1. Be Intentional About Change
Intentional change enhances the impact of our local church efforts in a direct approach to make a difference and manage changes to produce desired outcomes of church health and efficiency.

2. Be Aware of Congregational and Community Culture
The message of the church must be directed and timely for its congregants. It must also be captivating and relevant to speak to
the current culture.

3. Maximize the Gifts of the Church
God has a unique calling and giftedness for each local church. It is imperative to recognize those blessings and maximize their potential for Kingdom impact.

4. Follow Passionately the Leading of the Holy Spirit Within a “now” Context
There are many good ideas but that does not make them God ideas. Following the leading of the Holy Spirit for renewal and revitalization establishes an unshakeable foundation for holistic ministry.

What is the Charis Fellowship?

The Charis Fellowship is a network of churches, campuses and ministries in the USA and Canada who are passionate about Jesus in Truth, Relationship, Mission. And that mission is to start new churches, train leaders and do good for the sake of the gospel.

The Team

Trent Lambert – Director of the Center for Thriving Leaders

Christian Cardoza – Media Director

Julia Peattie – Administrative Assistant

Will Dawson – Digital Media Coordinator


Contact Us:

Phone: 574-372-5100 ext. 6201 or 6430


Address: 200 Seminary Dr, Winona Lake, IN 46590