Religious Life

Center for Calling & Christian Leadership

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The Center for Calling and Christian Leadership  mentors young people (mostly Methodists) ages 12 and up across the state of Arkansas who are exploring a call to ministry. From the beginnings of discerning a call and throughout the vocational discernment process to professional church leadership, the Center offers 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, a United Methodist Deacon, serves as the Center's Program Director, made possible by the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas (MFA). Contact: (SLTC 131, 450-1459; mailto:

Click here to subscribe to newsletter, which contains more detailed information about: our programs and links to applications for upcoming trips, reflections from Center participants, photos of recent events, and job and internship opportunities. 

See our linktree for links to info. about all of our upcoming gatherings, scholarship opportunities, and more.

Check out our social media pages (Facebook: Center for Calling & Christian Leadership; instagram: @center_for_ccl). 

Upcoming Events with the Center

Exploring Ministry Together (EMT) begins again in  Fall 2021! 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. 

Dates, Times & Themes (All take place in the Religious Life Office or your Zoom account, unless otherwise listed)

  • August 30, 7:45pm: Intros & what’s coming this year

  • September 6, 7:45pm: No EMT (Labor Day)

  • September 13, 7:45pm: Andrea Stitt (RLO Intern) leading spiritual practices/activities and conversation 

  • September 20, 7:45pm at Purple Cow, in the Village (if you’re a Hendrix student, a group will walk together after Hdx chapel): Sustaining a Sense of Self & Calling in Midst of Busyness & Change 

  • September 27, 7:00pm (after Hendrix dinner church): Special guest! TBA

  • October 4, 7:45pm: Special guest-- David and Elizabeth McCormick, global missionaries through the General Board of Global Ministries in the UMC

  • October 11, 7:45pm: Coffee & conversation at Purple Cow; (if you’re a Hendrix student, a group will walk together after Hdx chapel) 

  • October 13-16 (Wed.-Sat.): Fall Break Group Visit to Duke Divinity School (apply at

  • October 18, 7:00pm (after Hdx dinner church): Young AR Clergywomen Panel! 

  • October 25, 7:45pm: “Am I Called to be Ordained?” Vocational Discernment Practices & a Gentle Introduction to the Ordination Process

  • October 27: Deadline to RSVP for November Retreat 

  • November 1, 7:45pm: Special guest-- Rev. Colin Bagby, UMC Elder 

  • November 5-6 (Friday-Saturday): Fall EMT retreat @ Ferncliff! 

    • Theme: Sabbath & Social Action
    • Overall content: Conversation and activities will revolve around themes related to sabbath/self-care, faith & social justice (especially community engagement/organizing) as part of ministry-- and why/how all of those things are connected

    • Two central questions we’ll be asking together: 1) Why is sabbath and self-care crucial to ministry? and 2) How do we use our gifts to advocate for changing systems that prevent all of us from thriving? We can’t have self-care for all without community care! 

    • What will we do? Relax, have fun and fellowship time, hear from speakers, and do sabbath practices and worship together as a community. 

  • Nov. 8: NO EMT

  • Nov. 15, 7:00pm at Purple Cow: Coffee & conversation with an Advent theme 

Photos of  2019-2020 Program Year Events (see our social media pages for more recent photos)

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

picture2ARUMC college students visit Wesley Theological Seminary with Miranda Donakey (Hendrix Chaplain Intern 2018-2020) 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.