The Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization team

Within the United Church of Christ, the Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization team (MESA) supports the critical implementation of denominational polity for authorized ministry, especially equipping the Committees on Ministry that determine authorization of those persons who hold or are pursuing ministerial standing.

In other words (to make metaphorical use of "mesa"), the Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization team serves as host at the table that is ministry in the United Church of Christ. Gathered at the table are authorized ministers, calling bodies, Associations, Conferences, and Committees on Ministry, to which the MESA team offers support and resources for faithful and effective ministry. Additionally, MESA's role as host includes the encouragement of ongoing conversation regarding issues of ministry in the 21st century. 

The MESA team works in a collaborative model to meet the needs of those at the table. Duties, responsibilities and contact information of each MESA team member are listed below, understanding that the goals and partnerships noted here are not designed to be exhaustive.

Rev. Holly MillerShank, Team Leader of the Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization Ministry Team
700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland OH 44115
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
• Visions and articulates the changing needs of authorized ministers & leadership development in the United Church of Christ and ecumenically
• Builds ecumenical and denominational partnerships to support and resource authorized ministers, conference staff and committees on ministry
• Provides leadership, oversight, and development of the Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization Ministry Team
• Serves as a connectional voice between the Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization Ministry Team and settings of the United Church of Christ including but not limited to: Mission Planning Council, LCM Leadership Team, Council of Conference Ministers, General Synod, LCM Board of Directors and Executive Council
Ministerial Partners
• The UCC Collegium of Officers
• LCM Leadership Team
• Mission Planning Council
• Conference Ministers

Rev. Stephen Boyd, Minister for Chaplains and Specialized Ministers
700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland Ohio 44115
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
• Recognizes and honors the diverse calling bodies within the United Church of Christ
• Supports bi-vocational authorized ministers and those serving in settings outside of the local church including but not limited to chaplains, educators, counselors, community organizers, ecumenical ministers, and denominational ministers
• Supports authorized ministers serving in chaplaincy positions including but not limited to: Hospital Chaplaincy, Military Chaplaincy, College Chaplaincy, and Prison Chaplaincy
• Provides the voice and perspective of the United Church of Christ in commissions and organizations related to specialized ministry
• Serves as the endorser for government and professional chaplains
• Resources Committees on Ministry on authorizing and supporting specialized ministers
Ministerial Partners
• Council for Health and Human Services
• Disaster Response Ministries
• JWM Minister for Healthcare Justice

Rev. Kathy Clark, Minister for Members in Discernment
700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland OH 44115
Duties and Responsibilities
•    Fosters a “Culture of Call” in the United Church of Christ
•    Develops and oversees policies regarding authorization in the United Church of Christ
•    Equips Committees on Ministry to work with Members in Discernment
•    Engages partners in researching, developing and disseminating resources on call, discernment, educational and spiritual formation for ministry  
•    Encourages the development of authorized ministers in the United Church of Christ through resourcing and networking Members in Discernment
•    Supports the development of authorized ministers in the United Church of Christ through relationships with participants in UCC leadership development programs
•    Fosters a sense of collaboration and denominational relationships with UCC related regional education programs, colleges, universities and seminaries
•    Assists in UCC supported gatherings of partners working with Members in Discernment including Polity Teacher’s Network, Council on Higher Education, Council for Theological Education and the Student Ecumenical Partnership 
Ministerial Partners
•    JWM Justice LED program
•    WCM Global Ministries Youth Service Communities
•    OGM Minister for Affirmative Action and Leadership Development
•    LCM Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Minister for Youth

Rev. Elizabeth Dilley, Minister for Ministers in Local Churches
700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland OH 44115
Duties and Responsibilities
•    Assists in embodying the on-going covenant between authorized ministers, associations, conferences and the national setting of the church
•    Strengthens a culture of lifelong learning and continuing education among authorized ministers
•    Equips Committees on Ministry to work with Local Church Ministers
•    Works with partners to name and develop materials for boundary training and continuing education
•    Articulates guidelines for covenant and mutual accountability for authorized ministers including programs of oversight and fitness
•    Develops and maintains a denomination-wide record of results from UCC fitness review proceedings
•    Resources and connects programs of clergy cohort clusters including the Massachusetts Pastoral Excellence program, local ministiriums, Support and Accountability Groups, 20/30 Clergy, Target 20/30, and New Clergy Clusters
•    Develops and resources a nationwide pulpit exchange program
Ministerial Partners
•    UCC Pension Boards
•    Massachusetts Conference Pastoral Excellence Program
•    Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Worship and Education Staff

Rev. Rachel Hackenberg, Minister for Committee on Ministry Resources and Conference Support
700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland OH 44115
Duties and Responsibilities
• Coordinates major MESA events which support Conference Staff, including New Conference Staff Orientation and Authorizing Ministry for the 21st Century (AM21)
• Coordinates MESA communications including newsletters, Glasscubes, social media and websites
• Regularly reviews and develops resources for use by Members in Discernment, authorized ministers, and COMs. This includes the Manual on Ministry (or its successor resource)
• Coordinates online learning opportunities for MESA to connect with and support its constituents
Ministerial Partners
• Publications, Identity and Communication
• Conference Ministers
• UCC Pension Board
• OGM Minister for Conference Ministers Relations

Rev. Malcolm Himschoot, Minister for Ministerial Transition
700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland OH 44115
Duties and Responsibilities
•    Engages partners in researching, developing and disseminating resources on ministerial transition in the United Church of Christ
•    Supports interim ministers in the United Church of Christ and the UCC interim minister’s network
•    Resources and supports ecumenical transitions including Ministerial Partnership Standing with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Formula of Agreement Partners and ministers authorized by other denominations
•    Resources authorized ministers and Committees on Ministry regarding privilege of call, dual standing, and discernment status for leaders of new, renewing or multiplying congregations
•    Develops and maintains a listing of all ministry opportunities for both employment and volunteer needs in the United Church of Christ
•    Resources and supports ministers transitioning between calling bodies or into retirement
Ministerial Partners
•    Center for Progressive Renewal
•    Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Team Leader
•    Ecumenical Officer
•    UCC Pension Board
•    UCC Yearbook

Mr. Darrrell Ludwig, Profile & Ministry Opportunities Administrator
700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland OH 44115
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
•    Resources authorized ministers and conference staff in the completion of online documents relating to MESA, including the ministerial profile and ministry opportunities listings
Ministerial Partners
•    Minister for Ministerial Transitions
•    UCC Yearbook
•    Association and Conference Registrars

Ms. Kathleen Sattler, Administrative Secretary
700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland OH 44115
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
•    Provides administrative support to members of the Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization Ministry Team
•    Serves as the Endorsement Secretary for the United Church of Christ
•    Works collaboratively with administrative staff from Congregational Vitality and Discipleship 
•    Fosters a spirit of extravagant welcome and hospitality within MESA and its partners
Ministerial Partners
•    Minister for Chaplains & Specialized Ministers
•    Minister for Members in Discernment

Minimum Qualifications for all MESA Team Members
•    Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and collegially as well as independently with minimal supervision
•    Demonstrates significant understanding of and appreciation of the faith, polity and practice of ministry in the UCC
•    Demonstrates desire and sensitivity to work in diverse racial, ethnic, cultural and religious settings with commitment to diversity in the workplace
•    Demonstrates written and oral English language skills, including public speaking skills and ability to conceptualize, author, and produce print and other resources. Knowledge of a second language is valued
•    Must be a self-starter, able to prioritize work and to perform with minimum supervision
•    Ability to travel within the United States as necessary
•    Computer experience and ease with adapting to new technology


Rev. Holly MillerShank
Team Leader, Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115