Pastor Group Leaders-Spiritual Companions

What is Required of Small Group Leaders?

Group leaders serve as spiritual companions for their group of 6-10 participants. Each small group has a trained pastor as a leader. Leaders convene the groups online as well as in person. Serving as a leader offers wonderful opportunities for professional development and ecumenical networking. Leaders must participate in the required trainings. The cohorts run for 18-24 months.

Educational Requirements and Experience

Companions in Ministry group leaders must be:

  • Christian pastors or ordained deacons who currently serve in a congregation in southeastern Wisconsin.
  • Christian pastors or ordained deacons who hold an M.Div. degree or similar from an accredited seminary or pastoral ministry program.
  • Christian pastors or ordained deacons who have approximately 5 or more years of experience in ministry since Ordination.

Group Leader Training (required)

  • Several trainings are required for group leaders. Leaders learn about  the "Shared Inquiry" methodology for discussing articles. Leaders are also trained in how to conduct Interviews (see below). 

Interviewing Participants     

Small group participants will have a personal, recorded interview conducted by the group leader, for 45 minutes per participant, prior to the first group meeting. The interviews will be structured and recorded, allowing Dr. Ed de St. Aubin (Marquette University Psychology) to employ qualitative and quantitative research to track participant progress. The interviews allow the participants to explore their current sense of spiritual and professional well-being, and to determine their progress over the two year program. Dr. de St. Aubin designed the research protocol and trains leaders in interview methods and use of the digital recorders. Leaders will also conduct 45 minute recorded interviews at the end of the program, with each of the participants in their group. Leaders will be interviewed as well.

In addition to the interviews, there is a brief online set of measures that leaders and participants will complete at the beginning and at the end of the CiM program.

Retreats and Plenary Sessions

Each cohort will have two retreats - one at the beginning of their cohort period and one at the end. Retreat time may be virtual. 

Two plenaries involving all the cohorts will be held each year.

Small Groups 

The leaders and participants determine the dates, times, and frequency of meetings. The groups meet eight to ten times a year.


Companions in Ministry staff offers reading suggestions for the groups. All CiM participants are provided with Dr. Matt Bloom's book "Flourishing in Ministry: How to Cultivate Clergy Well-being" for use in small groups.


There are limited funds available for groups to enjoy refreshments, share a meal, or bring in a speaker. Leaders are required to turn in receipts to Companions in Ministry staff for reimbursement.


The leaders are asked to communicate regularly with the Companions in Ministry director to help evaluate and refine the program.


The group leaders receive a $2,000 stipend.


Please contact Peg Flahive - Companions in Ministry Director, at or apply here.