Religious Life

Center for Calling & Christian Leadership

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The Center for Calling and Christian Leadership seeks to mentor young persons from the beginnings of discerning a call to ministry and throughout the vocational discernment process to professional church leadership. It will offer programming in a variety of areas, including worship leadership, shadowing, orientation to ministry, spiritual formation, peer support, internships, and service-learning opportunities.

Eva Englert-Jessen smallRev. Eva Englert-Jessen serves as the Center's Program Coordinator, made possible by the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas (UMFA). Its mission is to create and support programs for young United Methodists (ages 12 and up) to explore and discern their calls to lay and ordained ministry and church leadership, and to support young clergy in sustaining their calls to ministry through civic engagement retreats and intentional mentoring relationships. The grant also provides funds for events, travel, and additional program support. 

Eva Englert-Jessen (SLTC 131, 450-1459; mailto:

Click here to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, which contains more detailed information about: 

  • our programs and links to applications for upcoming trips
  • reflections from Center participants
  • photos of recent events
  • things happening around the ARUMC Conference
  • job and internship opportunities. 

Upcoming Events with the Center

Exploring Ministry Together (EMT) begins again! EMT is a weekly gathering space for college students and young adults who are exploring a call to lay or ordained ministry, especially if you're Methodist. Even if you're just *thinking* about it, or have mentors and friends who've told you they see leadership gifts in you, you're WELCOME to join us. 

This Fall we'll zero in on three themes: 1) In September, we're talking about how to nurture your personal faith journey. We'll send journals and care packages to help you reflect and make space for prayer and grounding your spirit in your home. 

2) October is our Virtual Ministry Opportunities Fair!, a month of Zoom gatherings with seminaries (first 3 weeks) and UMC ministry- and faith-based organizations who are supporting and engaging young people in ministry, service, justice and vocational discernment (4th week). This is open to high school students as well as college students & young adults! If you want to attend the Zoom that corresponds to the schools/orgs you are most interested in, feel free. If you want to attend all, you may do that too! Depending on interest, we will cap the number of participants at each Zoom to 20.

See  flyer with a full list of schools and orgs for each date  here. To register, go here. To see the full description of each school/organization, click here. (These links are also available at 

3) In November, EMT will focus on the nuts and bolts of what it looks like to practice ministry. We'll hear from lay & ordained guests about the work they do in "special" ministries (youth, UMC deaconness ministry, music ministry, and more); about good pastoral care; and about what it looks like to craft a good sermon/proclamation.

Our latest newsletters share detailed information and flyers about events for ages 12-up. See the latest (August 29) here.  You can also go to for more sign-up information, and check out our social media pages (Facebook: Center for Calling & Christian Leadership; instagram: center_for_ccl). 

Recent 2019-2020 Program Year Events

March 2020 Faith & Mental Health Panel, featuring a variety of lay and ordained pastors/faith leaders 

picture1Arkansas college students, seminarians and clergy at UMC Exploration in Orlando. 

picture2ARUMC college students visit Wesley Theological Seminary with Miranda Donakey (Hendrix Chaplain Intern) and Rev. Chase Green.


Exploring Ministry Together presents a special faith and justice panel, featuring a variety of UMC elders, deacons, and laypeople (Rev. Paul Atkins, Rev. Haley Jones, Rev. Will Choate, Samantha Black, Rev. Brittany Richardson Watson, Malik Saafir).

picture4First gathering of the 2019-2021 ecumenical Clergy Institute for Civic Engagement cohort.

picture5A class for 3rd-6th graders on call & creation care at ARUMC Conference "Quest" event.

Older Events

Ctr Intern Celebration

July 2019: Closing celebration for our first summer of pastoral interns with the Center for Calling, and another summer of interns with the Miller Center. These students and supervisors are amazing, and we are so grateful for all their labors of love, ministry, discernment and service this summer.