This cohort is no longer accepting applications.

2023-24: 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.

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 opens: July 28, 2023

Application deadline: September 8, 2023

Decisions sent: September 22, 2023

Registration deadline (for accepted applicants): October 6, 2023

San Antonio sessions:
Session 1: November 6-9, 2023
Session 2: January 29-February 1, 2024

Program Cost: $150

A modest registration fee includes all meals, lodging, program fees for both weeks at Oblate Renewal Center, readings and leadership assessments. 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 12 p.m. Monday and conclude at 12 p.m. Thursday. The second session week will begin at 12 p.m. Monday and conclude at 12 p.m. Thursday.

Mycal Brickhouse will facilitate our process, guiding reflection on our experience and readings and promoting conversation on themes we grapple with in Christian leadership. María Teresa Gastón, an organizational psychologist, will help participants understand the results of their self-assessments and draw implications for collaborative ministry. Laura Everett will guide participants through opportunities for reflection and tactile learning. Elizabeth Tamez 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: November 6-9, 2023 | Session 2: January 29-February 1, 2024

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 as part of the $150 program cost.

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.


Comfortable attire is welcomed!

Mycal Brickhouse

The Rev. Mycal X. Brickhouse is the director of Foundations of Christian Leadership. He also serves as director of grant programs at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity and as senior pastor of Cary First Christian Church in Cary, North Carolina. Ordained as an itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Brickhouse previously served as director of alumni relations at Duke Divinity School. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and earned an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School. The Rev. Brickhouse is passionate about community relations and currently serves as a member of the Advocacy Committee of Wake County Habitat for Humanity, the Building Bridges of Cary Police Department, the strategy team for ONE Wake and the Western Regional Community Advisory Committee of Wake County Human Services.

María Teresa Gastón

María Teresa Gastón is the former 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.

Laura Everett

The Rev. Laura Everett serves as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches. Ordained by the United Church of Christ, Laura is formed by many parts of the church. She is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and Brown University. Laura is the author of “Holy Spokes: The Search for Urban Spirituality on Two Wheels,” and her writing has appeared in Religion News Service, the Christian Century, WBUR, GBH, and the Boston Globe. She’s also the co-host of the podcast “Can These Bones” with Bill Lamar, from Faith & Leadership at Duke Divinity School. A moderately competent seamstress, mender, and textile artist, Laura loves working with her hands and aims to learn with her hands what she longs for in the world: repair. 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. Laura lives in Boston with her wife Abbi, who has a far more interesting vocation as a public middle school Latin teacher.


For more information, please email or call 919.613.5323.

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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