Welcome to the Dr. Sidney Roberts Center for Leadership & Administration!

What does it mean to be a leader in The United Methodist Church?

In general, the role of a leader is to articulate a vision of a preferred future and engage other people in that vision. Leaders see a destination and help others to see it. Leaders in The United Methodist Church do this, but we are also called to a specific mission—to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. This mission governs our churches and ministries. To be a leader in The United Methodist Church means to envision what pursuing this mission could look like in a particular context and then engage other disciples in bringing it to fruition. Leaders provide direction. Leaders inspire. Leaders encourage.

The Center for Leadership exists to energize and equip local church leaders, clergy and lay, to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We do this by connecting leaders to resources and expertise on topics including personal spiritual formation, preaching, coaching, church governance, Wesleyan tradition, and ethics. This might mean recommending good outside resources such as books and websites, or we might introduce you to a local leader or church who has had success in a particular area.

Dr. Tim Bruster to Join CTC Team as Director of Finance & Administration

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr., resident bishop of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, has announced that Dr. Tim Bruster will join the Conference staff as the Director of Finance and Administrative Services. This is a part-time position and is effective Aug. 1.
In his role, Tim, who recently retired from a 42-year ministry as a local church pastor (the last 19 years as the senior pastor of First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth) will be a member of the Cabinet and serve as the staff liaison for the Conference Council on Finance and Administration, Conference Trustees, Conference Board of Pensions, and other duties as described in ¶619.2 of the UMC Book of Discipline. Greg Carey will continue to serve as the Central Texas Conference Treasurer.
The Director of Finance and Administrative Services position comes as a rather unexpected next step in Dr. Bruster’s ministry to many, including Dr. Bruster. Read More about Dr. Tim Bruster here.


Lara Franklin - Executive Director of Clergy Leadership & Administration

Rev. Lara Whitley Franklin has been appointed by Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. as the Executive Director of the Roberts Center for Clergy Leadership effective July 1.

"I am honored to serve the Central Texas Conference as part of the Cabinet and the Roberts Center for Leadership," said Lara. "The Roberts Center exists to equip and support clergy leaders in our mission to make disciples for the transformation of the world. In our current social climate, clergy leaders often feel overwhelming pressure to please everyone, maintain the status quo, and keep the peace. I think we have all felt it. But leaders, clergy and lay alike, are called to be visionaries, to perceive and believe in the potential of a future that increasingly mirrors the kingdom of God. I am so pleased that Bishop Saenz is focused on supporting and equipping clergy for their work as leaders. I am eager to allow God to use me for God's good purposes." Read More about Lara Franklin here

Glen Lake Camp Names Maria Shupe as Next Executive Director

Maria brings 30-plus years of Christian Education ministry experience (with nearly 20 years in camp, retreat and conference ministries) and will join the GLC team Dec. 1 and is excited to continue and build upon “a very strong foundation” set forth by exiting Executive Director Natalie Davidson and the GLC staff and board.

The Central Texas Conference and the Glen Lake Board of Directors is excited to announce Maria Shupe as the next Executive Director of Glen Lake Camp. Maria’s hiring concludes a nearly two-month search that began in September following current Executive Director Natalie Davidson’s decision to step down from the role she’s held since 2015. Maria, who served as the Executive Director of Highlands Presbyterian Camp and Retreat Center in Allenspark. Colo. for the past 16 years, is set to step into the Glen Lake Executive Director role on Dec. 1 and is looking forward to the opportunity of leading the Glen Lake team as they advance their strategic and ministry plans.

“Natalie has done tremendous work in her time as Executive Director at Glen Lake Camp and there are simply no words to adequately thank her for her service and dedication,” stated Jeff Roper, executive director, Roberts Center for Leadership and Administration. “She has built a great team, navigated the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic with aplomb and has positioned Glen Lake for much success going forward.”

“Maria brings a great deal of Christian camping knowledge and experience as well as a wealth of fund development resources,” Jeff continued. “She will assist in the development of a strategy for long-term fund connections and help complete and advance the five-year strategic plan begun by Natalie and the board three years ago. We are all excited to see what she and the GLC team will bring forth going forward.”

To read more about this announcement, visit the news section of the ctcumc.org.

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