Center programming is made possible in part through a grant from the Lilly Endowment.  Samford University provides financial and other support for the center’s personnel and administration.  As a result, 100% of the money donated to the center is used to provide resources to ministers.


Sabbath Leave Program

This program offers grants up to $6,000 for use in helping ministers experience spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual renewal through time away from pastoral responsibilities.

Study Leave Program

This program offers mini-grants up to $2,000 to support a minister’s one- or two-week residential study, research, writing or other project on the campus of Samford University.

Pastoral Enrichment Network

This network provides a unique peer group experience that encourages and equips bivocational ministers who serve smaller churches in rural areas of Alabama.

James Davidson Fund for Rural Ministries

This endowed fund provides financial support of a variety of center programs offered specifically for ministers serving smaller, rural congregations in Alabama.

Day Apart

This unique resource offers enrichment for women pastors through day retreats offered twice a year, and provides opportunities for pastors to interact with noted women authors, pastors and theologians in the relaxed setting of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

James Auchmuty Congregational Leadership Fund

This endowed fund supports an annual lecture on the topic of congregational leadership on the campus of Samford University.  In addition, the fund provides a fellowship to enable a pastoral leader to engage in continuing education related to congregational leadership.

C. Otis Brooks Fund for Pastoral Leadership Enrichment 

This fund provides scholarships for ministerial Sabbath and Study leaves through the center’s Sabbath Leave Program.  The program provides opportunities for ministers to experience spiritual, mental, physical and emotional renewal through Sabbath time of three weeks to three months or study leave time of up to two weeks away from ministry duties.

Thank you for your support of pastoral excellence through the programs of the Center for Congregational Resources at Samford University.

Spiritual and Emotional Needs+

Counseling Services

Offer ministers counseling services so they can address challenges or stress in their own lives, allowing them to become more effective in their ministerial roles.
One counseling session: $100; Series of counseling sessions: $300

Individual Retreat or Retreat with Spouse

Help ministers visit a retreat center and engage in prayer and meditation, or spend time with a spouse.
Consultation with a spiritual director: $25; Gift toward an individual retreat: $20; Individual retreat: $200; Gift toward a retreat with spouse: $40; Retreat with spouse: $400

Massage Therapy

Provide a calming massage to help ease stress and tension.
One massage session: $50; Series of massage sessions: $300

Seminar or Workshop on Spiritual Growth

Send ministers to a seminar or workshop that focuses on ministerial self-care.
One workshop or seminar: $50; Series of workshops or seminars: $200

Physical and Recreational Needs+

Aerobics or Yoga Classes

Give ministers the energy, calm and relaxation offered by a range of fitness classes.
One class: $15; Series of classes: $115

Recreational Activity

Give ministers a chance to visit a museum, park or theater, or camp, hike or golf.
Entrance fees for activities: $25; Greens fees or cart rentals: $75

Intellectual Needs+

Conference or Ministry Workshop

Help ministers gain hands-on experience learning about new trends and methods in many aspects of church life.
One-day workshop: $50; Series of workshops: $200

Continuing Education Training

Provide personalized training for ministers in a specific area of ministry or creative interest.
Gift toward a training experience: $50; Education training experience: $200

Course at Beeson Divinity School or Samford University

Allow ministers to audit a seminary or other university course to further their own education.
Gift toward a training experience: $50; Education training experience: $200

Ministerial and Creative Supplies

Equip ministers with various supplies and study materials needed for ministry.
Books and study aids: $50; Creative supplies: $100

Practical Needs+

Hotel Accommodations

Provide ministers, or ministers and their spouses, with a comfortable place to rest during retreats, conferences or study leaves.
One night accommodations: $100; One week accommodations: $500

Nourishing Meals

Ensure that ministers receive healthy meal selections while on sabbatical, study leaves or retreats.
Meals for a day: $30; Meals for a week: $200

Pulpit Supply

Provide stipends to cover the expense of interims while a minister is on leave.
One service: $250; Series of services: $750

Travel Expenses

Help ministers with travel expenses by providing a plane ticket, car rental or other means of transportation as part of a sabbath leave, retreat or continuing education experience.
Car rental: $60; Train ticket: $100; Round-trip airfare: $250

Are you looking for a way to honor a pastor or minister? You can make a donation in honor of or in memory of a pastor or other person that will be directed to a specific need among center participants. We will send to the person you wish to honor a card acknowledging receipt of your gift.