The Vital Leadership Academy (VLA) is a selective, six-month leadership development program for lay people. The VLA is designed to identify, inspire, train, and support people who are new to leadership so that they can partner with clergy to lead positive change in local congregations. It is directed toward those who are not yet established leaders in their church but have greater leadership potential. The program consists of three main parts: large group retreats, small group gatherings, and engagement with personal spiritual practices.
Pastors and district superintendents are encouraged to nominate potential participants from their congregations who will then apply for a spot in the program. People may self-nominate, but their pastor must provide a recommendation. The Central Texas Conference covers about half of the program expenses. For the remainder, each participant pays $100 in tuition, and his or her local church contributes $100. Housing (double-occupancy) and meals for the four retreats is included. Participants are responsible for their own transportation. Applications for 2017-18 are open and must be completed by Sept. 1. If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org).