2024-25: Richmond

Join us for Foundations of Christian Leadership in Richmond, 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 at the Roslyn Conference and Retreat Center, located at 8727 River Road, Richmond, VA 23229. Meals and lodging at the Center are included in the program cost.

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: August 1, 2024

Application deadline: September 13, 2024

Decisions sent: September 20, 2024

Registration deadline (for accepted applicants): October 11, 2024

Session 1: November 11-14, 2024

Session 2: January 13-16, 2025

Sign up for our mailing list to receive a notification when the application is live.

Program Cost: $150

A modest registration fee includes all program fees for both sessions, along with readings, leadership assessments, meals and lodging at the Roselyn Conference and Retreat Center. 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.

Each session will begin at 12:00 p.m. Monday and conclude at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Mycal Brickhouse will facilitate our process and present implications for collaborative ministry. María Teresa Gastón, an organizational psychologist, will help participants understand the results of their self-assessments.

Session 1: November 11-14, 2024 | Session 2: January 13-16, 2025

Our typical day will include the following activities:

8:30 amMorning worship
9:15 amSession
10:45 amBreak
11:00 amSession continued
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pmGroup exploration or individual reflection time
3:00 pmBreak
3:15 pm Session
4:00 pmSmall group work
5:30 pmWorship
6:00 pmAdjourn


During both sessions, snacks and meals will be provided. Please let us know of any dietary restrictions or special accommodations you may require on your registration form.


Travel to and from Richmond is the responsibility of each participant. We encourage each participant’s organization to provide some support. The Roslyn Conference and Retreat Center is located 20 miles from Richmond International Airport (directions can be found here). For those living nearby or renting a car, parking will be available at the Center.

Dress code

Comfortable attire is welcomed!

Mycal Brickhouse

The Rev. Mycal X. Brickhouse serves as a director of programs and grants at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, where he oversees Reflective Leadership Grants and Foundations of Christian Leadership. Ordained as an itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Brickhouse previously served as a pastor in North Carolina and 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 spending time with his family.

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.

James Wesley Dennis III

The Rev. Dr. James Wesley Dennis III serves as an Associate Program Director at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School, where he works with Foundations of Christian Leadership and Reflective Leadership Grants and directs the Innovation Grants program. An ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, James has served congregations in South Carolina and Tennessee, as well as the connectional church. He graduated from Morehouse College, Vanderbilt Divinity School and Candler School of Theology (Emory University). The Rev. Dr. Dennis enjoys good food, fine cigars and dating his wife, Mrs. Joslyn White Dennis.


For more information, please email leadership@div.duke.edu 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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