This cohort is no longer accepting applications.

2021-22: San Antonio

Join us for Foundations of Christian Leadership in San Antonio, where we will draw on the rich resources of the surrounding community as we imagine and listen together to how God is stirring in our world, in our church and in our lives.

"What made this program excellent for me were the ways that the learning was a combination of input from different disciplines with the experience and expertise of my peers in the program."
- Participant in Foundations

We will hold our sessions on the grounds of the historic Oblate Renewal Center, a ministry of The Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. The ORC is located at 5700 Blanco Road, San Antonio, Texas, 78216.

Please see the Oblate Renewal Center's commitments to following health and safety guidelines here. If the health situation changes in San Antonio, we will move the event to a virtual platform and offer refunds to any who are unable to participate.

Our setting will help us explore key themes of the program, such as traditioned innovation.

As with other cohorts of Foundations, participants will have the opportunity to apply for a $5,000 Innovation Grant. Please see the “Grant Eligibility” section of this site to learn more.

Detailed information about applying for Foundations of Christian Leadership is available via the “How to Apply” section of this website.

Key Dates

Application deadline: August 13, 2021
Registration deadline (for accepted applicants): September 3, 2021

San Antonio sessions:
Session 1: October 25-28, 2021
Session 2: January 18-21, 2022

Program Cost: $150

A modest registration fee includes all program fees for both weeks at Oblate Renewal Center, readings, leadership assessments and select meals. The program is generously supported by a gift from Lilly Endowment Inc.

There is no cost to apply. Upon acceptance into the Foundations of Christian Leadership program, you will receive an invitation to register. We require the $150 registration fee to secure your spot in the cohort.

Program Format

We will begin and end each day of the program with worship led by participants and set in the Book of Acts. Each day also will include guest lectures, plenary discussion, small group work and time for reflection. Peer groups form an important source of honest sharing, support and encouragement at Foundations.

The first San Antonio session week will begin at 1:30 p.m. Monday and conclude at 12 p.m. Thursday. The second session week will begin at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday and conclude at 12 p.m. Friday.

María Teresa Gastón, an organizational psychologist, will facilitate our process and help participants understand the results of their self-assessments and draw implications for collaborative ministry. With wit and wisdom from his years of consulting and theological reflection, Dave Odom will guide reflection on some of our readings and experience and promote conversation on themes we grapple with in Christian leadership. Victoria White will introduce ways to think creatively about project options to extend your learning and will accompany participants in what she promises is a “grace-filled” grant process after the completion of the two in-person sessions.

Session 1: October 25-28, 2021 | Session 2: January 18-21, 2022

Our typical day will include the following activities:

9:00 amMorning worship
9:30 amSession
10:45 amBreak
11:00 amSession continued
12:00 pmLunch, rest, move
1:00 pmGroup exploration or individual reflection time
2:00 pmBreak
2:15 pm Session
3:15 pmSmall group work
4:15 pmClosing Worship
5:00 pmAdjourn


The Oblate Renewal Center, where we will hold our sessions, is located at 5700 Blanco Road, San Antonio, Texas, 78216.

Overnight accommodations are available at Oblate Renewal Center. The total cost for a single room, arriving Monday and checking out Thursday, is $240. If you select this option in your registration process, payment will be due upon submission of your registration. The cost of accommodations is in addition to your registration fee of $150.

If you prefer, you may make arrangements elsewhere.


During both sessions, all meals will be provided, beginning with dinner on Monday evening and ending with lunch on Thursday afternoon. Please let us know of any dietary restrictions or special accommodations you may require on your registration form.


Travel to and from San Antonio is the responsibility of each participant. Oblate Renewal Center is located less than 4 miles from San Antonio International Airport (directions can be found here). For those living nearby or renting a car, parking will be available at ORC.

Laura Everett

The Rev. Laura Everett is happiest exploring somewhere new, preferably by bike. Everett is the author of “Holy Spokes: The Search for Urban Spirituality on Two Wheels.” Ordained by the United Church of Christ, Everett is formed by many parts of the church. By day, she serves as the executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, scouting for signs of Christian unity. By night, she’s an unabashed urbanist and a bicycle evangelist. She co-hosted the Faith & Leadership podcast “Can These Bones” with the Rev. Bill Lamar. A moderately competent seamstress, she loves working with her hands. She believes the work of this moment is to notice and dismantle the racism that has divided this nation and the church. She’s convinced that if we’re all not free, it isn’t the gospel truth. Everett lives in Boston with her wife Abbi, who has a far more interesting vocation as a middle school Latin teacher. Everett is a graduate of Brown University and the Harvard Divinity School. She is an alum of Foundations of Christian Leadership.

María Teresa Gastón

María Teresa Gastón is the director of Foundations of Christian Leadership. Originally from Havana, Cuba, Gastón is an organizational psychologist and a certified ICA-ToP facilitator with experience in training and coaching innovative leaders in educational, faith, corporate and community settings. She enjoys researching, designing, and facilitating group processes for collaborative discernment and decision-making. Other research and practice interests include career development, motivation, organizational justice, organizational creativity, teambuilding, program evaluation and immigrant integration. Her ministry experience includes 13 years with agricultural workers in Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Immokalee, Florida, and 13 years directing the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice at Creighton University. Gastón earned a bachelor’s in theology from Marquette University, a master’s in Hispanic/Latino theology and ministry from Barry University, and a master’s and Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

David L. Odom

David L. Odom joined Duke Divinity School in August 2007 to launch Leadership Education at Duke Divinity and now oversees all of its programs and publications, including Faith & Leadership. He regularly teaches and facilitates events and both writes and solicits content for Faith & Leadership. Before coming to Duke, Odom was the founder and president of the Center for Congregational Health in Winston-Salem, N.C., which supported healthy communities of faith through consultation, leadership development, interim ministry training and vocational discernment. Odom, who was an adjunct professor at Wake Forest Divinity School, has extensive experience in program development and evaluation, staff and adjunct faculty development and strategic organizational management. He also plays a leadership role in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. He is a graduate of Furman University, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Victoria Atkinson White

Victoria Atkinson White is the managing director of grants at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity. In this role, she encourages traditioned innovation among Christian institutions and their leaders. For eight years, Victoria was a chaplain at the 900-resident Westminster Canterbury Community in Richmond, Virginia. Before that, she worked as minister to alumni at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. Victoria is a graduate of Duke Divinity School, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond and Rhodes College. She is an ordained minister affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

For more information, please email or call 919.613.5323.

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Foundations of Christian Leadership is offered multiple times a year in varying locations.

Questions We Answer

We know that you grapple with many difficult questions as a Christian leader. We want to help. Complex concerns about ministry can’t be fully addressed here, of course, but we provide a starting point for engaging the deep issues.

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