Religious Life

Center for Calling & Christian Leadership

CCCL Orange and Black Logo jpg2small

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). 

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 (currently suspended due to Covid)
  • reflections from Center participants
  • photos of recent events
  • things happening around the ARUMC Conference
  • job and internship opportunities. 

See our linktree for links to all of our upcoming Zooms, scholarship opportunities, and the complete list of activities by age group (the high school and midyouth information is in the newsletter link).  

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 Winter/Spring 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. 

A word about themes this semester: In addition to offering our typical programming that focuses on introducing and exposing ministry explorers to a wide range of conversations about various ministry topics and possibilities, we recognize that we are not living in "business as usual" times. Our United Methodist baptismal vows, which are integral to what it means to be loved and called by God, compel us to dig more deeply into how we are called to lead and minister with courage. Throughout our programs in the coming weeks and months, we will make intentional space for courageous conversation and to ponder how we sustain our faith during times of challenge and rupture in our society and world.

Exploring Ministry Together begins again on Monday, January 25! 

Since the Center for Calling is about offering learning opportunities, trips, and peer groups for students across the state of Arkansas, we are going to continue gathering on Zoom on Monday evenings, usually at 7:30pm unless otherwise noted. This helps us to easily connect with students across the state and to invite amazing speakers in Arkansas and beyond.

Our EMT topics this semester are largely shaped by requests from our college students. We will combine stories from a variety of guests (see below for the upcoming Specialized Ministries panel!) and also make space for spiritual practices and general community-building. 

January 25: First gathering: What’s to come this semester and summer job & internship possibilities

February 1, 4:30pm: Bishop Gary Mueller

February 8, 4:30pm: Special ministries panel (with lay & ordained ministers involved immigration work, community engagement, music, youth ministry, and neighboring/community development); see flyer at the and register and see more at

February 17: Global mission and ministry with Rev. Wes & Leah Magruder, missionaries in South Africa

February 22: Open space sharing & spiritual practices*

March 1: Vocational discernment and Deacons workshop with Eva Englert-Jessen and Grant Swanson of Garrett Seminary admissions

March 8: Children’s ministry panel

March 15: Rev. Ellen Alston, Hendrix Chaplain

March 22: Study & chill night

March 29: “Grab bag” Q&A (general questions about ministry, etc.) and spiritual practices; submit your questions to

April 5: Practices related to faith & justice with General Board of Church & Society and possible connections to local faith & civics activities at Arkansas capitol/Little Rock

April 12: Study & chill night with spiritual practices

April 19: Senior celebration

April 23: Possible virtual visit with Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (TBA)

*Spiritual practices will include a variety of activities related to discernment (e.g. prayer, art, food, music, journaling).

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.

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.