What is a NXTGEN Cohort?

NXTGEN is a ministry designed to help presbyteries establish a local means of training men for ministry by enhancing the seminary experience.

While seminaries provide needed theological and practical skills, an academic environment is less able to engage in character development to the degree that a mentoring relationship does in the context of a cohort apart from the classroom or internship.

Using research from Lilly Endowment’s work: Sustaining Pastoral Excellence and expanded on in Resilient Ministry, NXTGEN’s efforts focus on the soft skills needed for healthy pastoral service.


Cohorts meet monthly, ten times a year. Through monthly gatherings, the cohort cycles through six soft skills with increasing specificity. The goal is to not only be personally aware, but engage with one another for mutual growth, whereby members of the cohort develop ministerial bonds to sustain pastoral health. These skills, identified in Resilient Ministry, are:

  • Spiritual formation
  • Soul care
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Cultural Intelligence
  • Leadership and Management
  • Marriage and Family

To that end NXTGEN provides pastoral development, health, and sustainability by empowering presbyteries to equip pastors, church planters, and ministry leaders for the next generation. We will look at each of these skills in the coming weeks.